August 24, 2010
To Whom it may concern:
I am a licensed insurance agent as well as a registered representative. I am very concerned that the implementation of a fiduciary standard rule on registered broker dealers and their registered reps is going to be detrimental to the very consumers it is trying to protect.
Particularly as a registered rep that sells risk protection products to my clients (i.e. life insurance and annuities), the lack of definition in the Act on what defines a legal 'best interest' standard is extremely concerning. There are times when the product I sell to my client that is truly in his best interest is in fact the 'cheapest' product available, but there are also times when the product I sell my client is not the least expensive product, but it is the best product for other goals my client is seeking to accomplish USING the product. Would I be in compliance for this? Can this truly be regulated??
Product availability versus service availability are two different things. Fee-only Investment advisors are selling their SERVICE ... this is something they control and have full access to. On the other hand, Registered Representatives of a Broker Dealer experience a much more strict and regimented environment in that they are many times providing PRODUCTS as part of their solution and in addition to their service. And their Broker Dealer may not necessarily have Every possible product available in the marketplace as a product that the registered rep can provide to the client. This is unbelievably burdensome and irrational to the registered representative to be held to a fiduciary standard in this kind of situation that include elements outside of his control.
I am very much against imposing the fiduciary standard of care on broker dealers and their registered representatives. I believe with all of my heart it will do much more damage to the consumers than any good that might occur with the change.
Thank you for your consideration of my comments.