September 7, 2004
I believe that the SEC should withdraw its rule exempting broker-dealers from the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 when offering fee-based brokerage programs.
Having a different standard or policy for two distinct groups offering the same service does not offer the investing consumer adequate protection. Further, it weakens the standard of fiduciary duty owed to the customers of the investing community.
Merrill Lynch and the other big wirehouses even state in their advertising that they are providing advice and financial planning, with no mention that it is incidental to the sale of investment products.
This is not about the competition that exists between various financial institutions and advisers. It is about the American consumer, period. Do what is right.
David M. Taucher, CFP