February 7, 2005
The Merril Lynch rule is obviously not in the best interests of consumers. I cannot believe this is still even in consideration.
Consumers are having a difficult time in this changing industry determing who they can trust. If the powerhouse brokerage firms can advertise as financial advisors, depend on that to retain clients, charge a hefty fee, not follow the rules that other financial advisors must follow, and then when taken to task for not representing the best interests of clients, stand in court and say this is incidental to my business, I am only hired to trade, what kind of world do we live in? It is no secret that the intent of brokers is to make more money for doing the same job theyve always done.
I respectfully request that this rule not be adopted and that the SEC take a strong and independent position on behalf of the investing public.