August 25, 2004
I strongly support the withdrawal of the rule proposal exemption broker dealers from the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 when offering fee-based brokerage program.
I believe the rule is harmful to consumers by creating two different standards of conduct for persons offering financial planning services: a higher fiduciary standard for registered investment advisers, such as my firm, and a lower one under NASD suitability rules. The rule also exempts, in effect, brokers from being required to disclose conflicts of interest in connection with the offer of financial planning services.
Consumers are totally ignorant concerning the actual and potential conflicts of interest present and fiduciary standards required in dealing with financial professionals, and these consumers deserve a uniform standard of protection under the law.