August 24, 2010
As a financial advisor who works primarily with middle income clients, I can attest to the fact that if our industry is held to a higher standard across the board, which will subject us to higher scrutiny and liability, I will not be able to serve clients with small and medium-sized accounts as effectively as before. With the industry seemingly coming under fire from both directions (cutting 12-b-1 fees, and a higher standard of care), one wonders if the powers that be would expect us to work for free, or whether we are expected to only work with wealthy, established clients. As a licensed attorney, I can say that trial lawyers would be very ecstatic to be able to bring lawsuits for amounts in damages well in excess of the amounts that we are managing for our clients.
In summary, the effect of holding our industry to a fiduciary standard for every client that we serve will result in less service and advice for very people who the SEC claims to wish to protect.