July 22, 2004
I am referemcong your considerations on how to deal with brokerages and brokers in respect to the regulations they need or need not to adhere to under the regulations governing the activites of persons or entities that deal in "Investment" matters with the . public t
I sat on two panels at the SEC in the year 2000 during which these questions were raised. At that time it was generally accepted that if the parties involved are acting purely as tranactionals then advisors rules are not applied. however if the parties involved are acting in ANYWAY as fiduciaries and offering advise for a fee then the rules of RIA's should be applired. The use of the term INCIDENTAL when rendering an opinion, advice, etc.is too vague and open to loose interretation and therefore subject to the "whims" of the parties using it. It seems obvious that there should not even be a question as to the application of the rules of RIA and such arguments appear to be superfulous to even be takinfg up the time and efforts of the commission.
Dr. Harold P. Wittman, CFP
Member, National Association of Financial Planners