September 12, 2004
As I understand it, the current rule allows stockbrokers to offer investment advice while hiding conflicts of interest and/or a checkered past. This situation is not in the best interests of the investing public. Therefore, either the rule must either be withdrawn or, be modified to require that any stockbroker offering investment advice disclose, up front, any potential conflicts of interest and any disciplinary action s/he has been involved in with the regulators.
If the financial products which a stockbroker is selling are, indeed, a good deal for the investor, the broker should be proud to be associated with them. If the products are such that the broker feels compelled to hide his financial interest, then they are not a good deal for the investor and, the investor should not be lead astray.
Further, it is imperative that the investor be protected from advisors who have a past history of misdealings.
John P. Platt, Jr., PE
Cat Spring, Texas