August 24, 2010
I Urge the SEC to Not Impose a Fiduciary Standard on Registered Representatives
I work on behalf of more than 1,500 registered representatives in Minnesota, many who represent large numbers of Middle Americans. Without question these registered representatives care deeply about the financial security of their clients however, they fear the burdens placed on them by a fiduciary standard of care will prevent them from continuing to serve Middle Americans due to the cost in time and risk management measures. The current suitability standard of care, while demanding, have proven to allow the ethical registered representative to serve the Middle American marketplace. As products have been commoditized by the marketplace the value of the insurance and financial advisor to reach the consumer has become more important to ensuring true financial security. Placing a barrier between the advisor and the client through up-front fees will decrease access of Middle Americans to the expertise of those who can find the most suitable product for the client's needs for future financial security. If registered representatives are unable to do this work due to a standard of care that prevents trustworthy relationship building between the marketplace and the already heavily regulated products available, then consumers will be forced to ignorantly purchase commoditized products through digital media. Who is best served then? The burden to know what is suitable falls on the uninformed consumer. Burdensome regulation creates barriers and destroys trust. Informed consumers on the otherhand are empowered to make effective decisions with the assistance of well trained registered representatives, the vast majority of whom are morally driven to best serve their clients. Do not penalize the vast majority of consumers or registered representatives who have effectively increased financial security of American families by imposing regulations that otherwise would be necessary for the very small minority of registered representatives and consumers who have and will continue to do what is wrong regardless of the safeguards that are put into place.