February 4, 2005
I am requesting for the complete withdraw of the current proposal that Brokers/Agents be exempt from the Investment Advisor Act of 1940.
I am grateful the SEC has been making improvements since the original proposal, but the re-proposed rule still does not satisfy the main issue for consumers: if a broker-dealer wants to give advice that goes beyond the traditional buy-sell implementation service, then that broker should be required to register under the Advisors Act. Allowing broker exemption from the Advisors Act denies consumers important protections that do not currently exist and will continue to not exist if your current proposal goes through.
In order for a profession to advance and for consumers to be assured that the advice they receive is in their best interest, full disclosure and regulatory oversight must be adhered to by all who hold themselves out in an advisory capacity, whether it is incidental or not. Your current proposal opens a door for manipulation of those fundamental principles and at a minimum, makes it extremely difficult for consumers to understand the roles and responsibilities brokers have versus the professional advisory community as a whole who is currently regulated.
I am hopeful you, as a gatekeeper between the investment community and consumers, will withdrawal your proposal and refocus your efforts in forming a proposal that will protect all consumers who seek financial advice.
Michael A. Dubis, CFP
President Touchstone Financial, LLC
President Financial Planning Association of Southern Wisconsin