August 25, 2010
1) I urge the SEC to adopt a fiduciary standard for all financial professionals who provide personalized investment advice.
2)Currently, investors may be getting personalized advice from an investment adviser or a securities broker. But the advice is given under two different investor protection standards. The investment adviser, under a fiduciary obligation, is acting in the best interests of the client, while the broker must simply be making suitable recommendations. While perfectly legitimate under current rules, it simply doesnt make sense to have two different standards for what amounts to the same service.
3)Investors deserve a common standard and they should not be left to guess what kind of protection they are being afforded. The standard for providing investment advice should be the same for brokers and advisers: to act in the investors best interests. It is what investors deserve and what they should be able to expect.
4) As a retired engineer, who spent much of his life as an ordinary investor, I assure you I did not understand different levels of advice. And I often wondered whether my broker was advising me of things after they'd had a big run-up because he believed they'd go higher, of if he wanted a commission.
5) Make it simple, make it clear.
William G. Bartel