August 23, 2004
SEC Broker-Dealer Rule Exemption
I understand that the Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it is reopening for public comment a controversial rule exempting broker-dealers from the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 when offering fee-based brokerage programs. Noting significant continuing public interest in the rule proposal, and that the Financial Planning Association FPA has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking judicial review, the SEC says it plans to adopt a final rule by December 31. The 30-day comment period ends September 22.
As a member of the FPA, I urge you to WITHDRAW, not amend, the rule proposal. I believe that 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 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. The rule proposal is in effect until final action is taken by the Commission.
Please withdraw the rule proposal.
Todd W. Sivak, CFP, CFS