January 11, 2005
As a rule, most people selling stocks and bonds have passed the required tests, but their knowledge of financial planning which incorporated investments of various types, is limited. The brokers are under pressure to sell stocks and bonds on a daily basis without any real analysis of the needs of the buyer.
The bill that has been before the Senate which would allow stock brokers to give investment advice to individuals who own IRAs without being liable for the advice they give is nothing more than an attempt to use the IRA owners as training grounds for stock brokers. The brokers would have a ready-made list of prospects who could be switched from one product to another as a source of commissions for the broker and the firm.
I dont believe the SEC should help stock brokerage firms earn commissions and fees while the SEC eliminates the brokers liabiity to their clients, which is what it seems to be doing now.
The SEC should move in the direction of requiring those who give investment advice to not be paid commissions and to not have any investments under management. The financial advisor should recommend particular investements and insurance products, but the client should be required to make the purchases from someone unrelated to the advisor.