August 24, 2004
I urge you to withdraw the rule exempting broker-dealers from the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 when offering fee-based brokerage programs. . It is only of benefit to wirehouses, not to the investing public. It also sets two standards for Financial Planners. This one, a lower one, without requiring disclosure of financial conflicts of interests and one of fiduciary responsibility. With all the changes requiring more disclosure and honest dealings with the public, this rule flies in the face of all those changes, requiring less disclosure. Wirehouse brokers are not Financial Planners generally, but by exempting them from the rules of Registered Investment Advisors, they are made to look to public as the same as Financial Planners, causing much confusion to the public.
This rule is just plain nonsense, if the SEC is trying to protect the public. It does just the reverse.