January 31, 2005
As a state Registered Investment Advisor and a Certified Financial Planner I have people come to me that have been badly served by brokers masquerading as financial planners.
Either all Brokers must have a legally mandated fiduciary obligation to their clients, or they should not be given status that confuses the two roles. My states Department of Securities follows the SECs lead in setting their regulations, so what the SEC does indirectly affects the quality of State registered advisors.
My practice is small and clients work with me directly. There is no great corporate legal department to shield my work and protect me from the legal and financial consequences if I give bad advice.
You are considering weakening protection for investors, especially for those investors who might be harmed by working with larger brokerage firms whose number one credo sometimes is: SELL, SELL, SELL. And dont be misled -- to keep your job in a brokerage house one must SELL SELL SELL to earn the commissions. Powerful pressure is being exerted here.
Please dont you be sold a bill of goods on this.
Do the right thing and protect the individual investor by requiring that those brokerage firms offering financial advice be held to the same standard of Investment Advisors.
Gail J. Parker, CFP
Registered Investment Advisor, Oregon