August 24, 2004
SEC Broker-Dealer Rule Exemption
As a Certified Financial Planner designee and member of the Financial Planning Association, I urge you to WITHDRAW, not amend, the rule proposal. FPA believes the rule is harmful to consumers by creating two different standards of conduct for persons offering financial planning services: a higher fiduciary standard for registered investment advisers and a lower one under NASD suitability rules. The rule also exempts, in effect, brokers from being required to disclose conflicts of interest in connection with the offer of financial planning services. The Consumer Federation of America and AARP also strongly object to the rule.
As a registered investment advisor who charges clients on a FEE-ONLY basis, with regulatory oversight provided by the SEC, I would like to see all investment advisors on a level playing field in terms of regulation and disclosure. My clients are aware of what I do and how I charge. I have yet to meet a current client of a broker/dealer wrap or fee-based program who can say the same. Thank you for your consideration.