July 30, 2010
I am all for being 100% upfront with clients on how advisors get paid and what products are that they are buying, but the fiduciary duty standard that is trying to be imposed is 100% impossible as every financial advisor could be sued right after they recommend a product to a client.
Who determines the benchmarks for the "best" product for a client? Is it the cheapest, the one that will perform the best for their situation?
The cheapest investments don't always produce the best net results as far as returns. I'd rather own a product that returned 9% after an expense ratio of 2% than a product that invested similarly that returned 4% after an expense ratio of 0.50%.
Similarly, if you hold the fiduciary standard to the best investment return, you'll never know that answer until the time has pasted and a client can do research on all funds similar to theirs and find one that performed 0.10% better and sue for breech of the fiduciary duty.
If you can make it so there is a way that we can provide research and reasoning for all investments to back up what we had done with clients to prove due dillegence, that would be a lot better than the very vague "fiduciary duty" standard that is being pushed through right now.
This seems to be like the health care bill, lets push it through, but not know any details of how it will work, when it will start, or the standards to which people will be accountable for.
I urge you to reconsider pushing this bill through and come up with a logical way to help protect the consumer from advisors that just sell what pays them best and maybe one way to do that is to unify what all mutual funds pay to their advisors and also for us to have some sort of standard for purden of proof that work was done in the best interest of the client and not our pockets
Thank you for reading my concerns and thoughts.
Eric Kaestner LUTCF, FSS
4840 North River Blvd. NE Suite 100
Cedar Rapids, IA 52411