August 29, 2004
Regarding the controversial rule exempting broker-dealers from the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 when offering fee-based brokerage programs, I urge you to WITHDRAW it.
As a certified financial planner, I feel the rule is harmful to consumers because it creates two different standards of conduct for persons offering financial planning services: a higher fiduciary standard for registered investment advisers and a lower one under NASD suitability rules.
Further, exempting brokers from being required to disclose conflicts of interest in connection with the offer of financial planning services, is very misleading to the consumer, who doesnt have a good understanding of who does what in this industry in the first place.
Please withdraw this rule and make it vanish once and for all.