August 26, 2004
I strongly oppose the proposed Rule that exempts broker dealers from registration under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940. Exemption from registration will exempt NASD registered reps and their firms from the blanket fiduciary protections of the Advisors Act, specifically the anti-fraud provisions. The exemption permits stockbrokers and insurance agents to misrepresent their fundemental sales role as one of fiduciary advisor. Already, consumers are faced with disparate standards of care: one under NASD suitability rules and the other under the fiduciary umbrella of the Advisors Act. Already, the industry places more faith in the states with respect to protecting consumers from securities fraud. Unless it is the intention of the SEC to delegate prosecution of securites consumer fraud cases to the states, I strongly urge you to to maintain the status quo.