September 7, 2004
Please add mine to the chorus of voices asking you to rescind the Merrill Lynch rule.
As SEC Registered Investment Advisors we are held to a high standard of conduct as required by the 1940 Act. This makes perfect sense because it adds an important layer of consumer protection. We are required to make certain discosures, limited in how we can advertise, and are held to a fiduciary standard.
For example we cannot use testimonials in our advertising. The wirehouses operating under Broker Dealer rules not only can use testimonials but they can fabricate them Talk about misleading
The wirehouses are phenomenal marketing powerhouses. They would have the consumer believe they are entering into a fiduciary relationship. However what the marketing department giveth, the fine print of the contract taketh away...
Please rescind the Merrill Lynch rule for the sake of financial consumers.