August 25, 2004
Dear SEC Commissioners,
I strongly urge you to consider withdrawing -in total- the exemption for broker-dealers to register as Registered Investment Advisors. In a nutshell, I believe every American should have the opportunity to consult a financial advisor who lives up to a fiduciary standard of care and always places the best interests of the client first.
Having the exemption creates different standards of conduct for financial professionals and increases the confusion for consumers when selecting an advisor. In my view, no one should be exempt from disclosing conflicts of interest, which the exemption clearly allows for unregistered advisors.
Recent events in the financial services industry have hopefully taught us that it is always the best course of action to do what is right and good for the consumer. For the good of the consuming public and the overall financial services industry - please withdraw this exemption.
Michael J. Fischer CFP