August 27, 2004
I strongly recommend that the Commission WITHDRAW its rule proposal to allow broker-dealers to be exempt from the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 when offering fee based brokerage programs. This exemption would not be in the interest of the investor. It would provide a dual standard of conduct for persons offering financial planning services. The new rules will allow a lower standard under the NASD suitability rules and would reduce the disclouser requirement on possible conflicts of interest.