January 12, 2005
Dear Securities and Exchange Commission
I am writing to ask you to no longer exempt broker dealers from the same registration as financial planners.
I understand the rational for the exemption, but I strongely disagree with the premise.
Broker/Dealers giving financial advice is not incidental to their business. Clients do not engage in the broker/dealers simply to complete a transaction. This can be evidenced by the marketing, advertising and promotional material sent out to clients. The focus is on the ADVICE. If anything was incidental to the business it would be the execution of transactions. Client see this as a convinence and not what they are paying for.
The fact that the broker/dealers charge for the transactions and not the advice is merely a question of how they choose to be compensated. The fact that majority of clients come to broker/dealers for advice is further evidenced by the number of lawsuits, against broker/dealers, stemming for misleading analyst and research reports.
The fact that a broker/dealer can complete the transactions stemming from the advice rendered is a competitive advantage in the marketplace, but not the core of the business.
Lastly, and most importantly, the information provided to the client that stems from registration as an investment advisor does nothing but benefit the client/consumer. Why would the consumer not want the information provided by the ADV?
For the brokers who as a true benefit to this profession disclosure would only strengthen the relationship, and for those not of a reputable or of benefit to this profession, then they would have to disclouse these facts and be pushed out by consumers choice and hence strengthen the profession. Not to mention allow the consumer/client to make an informed choice. Is that not the goal of the Investment Advisor and Uniform Acts?
Frederick John Deyeso, III