August 24, 2004
It is not in the publics best interest to allow service providers who are operating under different rules to appear to be the same. An SEC RIA is a fiduciary. An NASD Broker Rep is not. The law as currently proposed does not help the consumer understand the difference. In fact, it creates a situation that is misleading. If an NASD Broker Rep offers advice, they should be required to register as an adviser ... in other words, to register with the SEC as an RIA. If they do not offer advice, they should not be allowed to say they do privately or publicly. The small print disclaimer about advice being incidental does not clarify things for the public enough. I would ask you to pass a law that you could explain without any trepidation to your teenage son or daughter. Is the currently proposed law really something that your personal values could support?