July 22, 2004
I have been in the retirement plan business for over 20 years, many of those dealing directly with brokers who all acted as the investment advisors for the retirement plans with which they were associated. I have opted not to deal with quite a few of those brokers a second time because it was evident that they were simply selling funds and not acting in the best interest of their ultimate client, the plan participant.
Truthfully, Broker-Dealers must be bound by the same laws as investment advisors. If a broker will put his client in a fund based on what he (the broker) will earn, rather than what is in the interest of a client, he has advised his client in his own (the broker's) best interest. With all of the self-interest dealing that has been in the past year's news it should be obvious that we should hold up anyone in the position of making recommendation of investment to the same standard, whether "investment advisor" or "Broker-Dealer," unless the situation is strictly a discount brokerage where it is implicitly understood that no advice is being provided. Period. If the discount brokerage offers advice, he immediately falls under the advisor act and the status of the brokerage firm changes.
Let's not be ambiguous about the situation.
Michelle G. Murphy, QKA
Vice President - Trust
Glenview State Bank
800 Waukegan Road
Glenview, IL 60025