From: Erin Freize
Dear Ms. Morris:
As a financial representative who assists clients in their pursuit of financial independence, I find the greatest service I provide is maintaining their portfolios AFTER they have moved their assets under my stewardship. While a significant portion of my practice revenue is derived from advisory fees, the lion's share of my clientele consists of small accounts. Also, I have large clients who have commission-based accounts that also require ongoing service. We continue to rebalance their funds, monitor their holdings, provide timely distributions to retirees, hold their hands when the markets are difficult, and prevent them from chasing fads when everyone else is looking for the "next hot thing". These clients cannot efficiently receive the type of service they require without the ongoing support of my staff and other expensive resources. We are not running a charitable organization, therefore we rely on revenue to pay for these resources.
Clients do not want someone to accept their order and walk away. That may be the typical approach in our industry, yet it has never been ours. The reason our clients remain our clients is exemplary service, and it is impossible to provide this level of service for free. You cannot expect the investing public to be satisfied with online advice and a call center rep. This is exactly where they must turn, if you remove 12b-1 fees, or propose any plan to limit the proportion an advisor currently receives.
Please reconsider any proposal to cut 12b-1 fees, and shareholders who own their mutual funds through a competent advisor will thank you time and again.