September 18, 2004
I urge you to withdraw the rule proposal that exempts broker dealers from the Investment Advisors Act of 1940. The Merrill Lynch Rule allows broker dealers to advertise they provide advice when they are governed by rules that treat them merely as sales people whose advice is solely incidental to their business of selling. The public does not understand the distinction. The rules and regulations affecting Investment Advisors and Investment Advisor Representatives should be applied to all who advertise as providing investment advice to consumers. Please put consumers interests first, withdraw this confusing and misleading rule.