August 24, 2004
I respectfully request that the proposed rule exempting Broker-dealers from the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 when offering fee-based brokerage programs be withdrawn.
Not only does the National Financial Planning Association support the withdrawal of this rule, but also supporting the withdrawal are the Consumer Federation of America and the AARP.
I am employed by a mid sized public accounting firm that, several years ago, formed an RIA as a wholly owned subsidiary. Even though we are only registered with the State of Virginia, and have no assets under management, we devote a significant amount of time to compliance issues. We realize, however, the importance of these requirements in protecting our clients interests.
Broker-dealers that offer fee-based brokerage programs almost invariably provide investment advice as defined in the Investment Advisors Act of 1940. For this reason, and the others as detailed by the FPA, this rule providing them with an exemption should be withdrawn.