August 24, 2010
As a registered representative the suitability standard governing broker-dealers and registered representatives that I operate under right now is a robust and heavily enforced standard. Every application I submit is subjected to a suitability review by my broker-dealer and if any issue is raised, I must justify the product and its application. This is how it should be and if any registered rep is not fulfilling this standard there are provisions in place to properly and justly discipline them.
Annually, each active file that I have is reviewed by my principal and I respond to a a thorough questionnaire regarding my business and clients. The fiduciary standard being proposed is a vaguely defined standard "to act in the best interest of the customer without regard to the financial or other interest of the broker, dealer, or investment adviser providing the advice." I do that every day This will simply be another full employment act for attorneys fishing for clients. Without clearer and adequately defined standards, the proposal will completely undermine the working relationship between registered reps and their clients.