March 23, 2005
The SEC protects the public. In order to do so, you must DENY this Merrill rule exception. RRs and BDs that charge asset based fees appear to the public like theyre financial planners. No amount of disclosure changes the appearance. The public must be protected and that is the job of the SEC.
There is nothing wrong with asset based fees, but Merrill and other firms must adhere to the investment advisory disclosure rules. They ARE fiduciaries and should act like fiduciaries.
Howard Erman, CFP, CRC, ATP; Branch Manager
Erman Retirement Advisory,