September 16, 2004
"As an investor, I find it odd, not to say alarming, that the SEC has sanctioned a rule allowing stockbrokers to present themselves to the public as financial planners. This rule is plainly deceptive. Would you permit a paralegal to set up shop as a fully qualified attorney? Would the U.S. Government allow a nurse practitioner to advertise him/herself as a fully qualified physician? Of course not. Yet that is exactly what the SEC is doing by allowing stockbrokers to set themselves up as financial planners.
I regard this rule as a serious breach of the SEC's own fiduciary responsibility to the American public. You are supposed to be protecting the interests of the investing public, not permitting a sham to be perpetrated on the American investor. After the various frauds perpetrated on the investing public in recent years, it is unconsionable that such a travesty should be allowed to persist.
I am writing to state unequivocally the the SEC should withdraw the rule. Financial planning is not 'incidental' to my long-term financial well-being, and you should not be regarding it as such. If stockbrokers wwant to hold themselves out as financial planners, they should have to live up to the SEC's own rules and register as Investment Advisers under the Act of 1940. The level playing field has always been the way of American fairness and honesty. The SEC has no business instituting a deceptive unlevel playing field for financial advisors. Please recall why your Commission exists in the first place."