August 24, 2004
After giving careful thought to your proposal to amend requirements of B/Ds on fee-based accounts, my observation is that this is wrong for the public at large. I am both an RIA and a representative of a B/D, and my objective opinion is that ALL advisors offering the public fee-based service should be subject to the same guidelines. Otherwise, those inclined to cut corners and mistreat their clients will take the path of least resistance, the B/D route. The SEC has spent many years improving the compliance landscape for fee-based services. Please keep the trend going forward, not backward.