September 21, 2004
I strongly support the FPA stance that brokers who hold themselves out personally or under corporate advertising as financial consultants, planners, or advisors or imply that they are operating within a financial planning process in any way should be subject to the same level of regulation and agree to uphold the same ethics as Registered Investment Advisors. The biggest firms, in particular, advertise the message that client dreams and goals are paramount and drive all decisions. You cant miss the message on TV, the Internet or on radio. And yet, a steady stream of consumers enters our office having been sold very inappropriate products by these same firms. It is confusing to the public to have a double standard. The financial planning hook catches consumers and then shoddy practices do them harm. Consumers do not understand the different levels of regulation. For the protection of the public and to create an even playing field, all providers who promise more than product execution should be subject to the same regulations.