August 23, 2004
Sir or Madam,
Our firm has learned that The Securities and Exchange Commission is reopening for public comment the rule exempting broker-dealers from the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 when offering fee-based brokerage programs.
On behalf of consumers and securities customers we urge the Commission to withdraw this rule proposal. We believe the rule is harmful to the securities industry by creating 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.
The rule also exempts, in effect, brokers from being required to disclose conflicts of interest in connection with the offer of financial planning services.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.