August 25, 2010
I appreciate your effort and diligence in studying the financial advisor issues brought up in recent legislative efforts.
Obviously there are problems with the current regulation of financial professionals. There is confusion in the marketplace, there are blurred lines of responsibility and there are varying expectations for standards of care. It is my strong belief that the simple act of delineating between the two different standards of care, fiduciary and not fiduciary, will provide a clear opportunity for the public to choose between these approaches.
Once the distinction is clear and promulgated, it will be easy for consumers and advisors to make their choices, and to prepare to deal with the consequences. Our current structure provides too much opportunity for those who only peddle products to contend that they act in a fiduciary manner. Help provide a clear pathway and a clear standard for advisors through the implementation of the fiduciary standard and a licensing process to delineate that expertise and commitment.
I strongly encourage you to recommend to congress that they extend the fiduciary standard of care to all financial professionals who intend to give advice, and to back up this level of care with the appropriate rules and regulations.