August 27, 2010
RE: File No: 4-606
Dear Ms. Murphy:
I am a Certified Financial Planner™ and owner and sole employee of a financial planning company that is a registered as an Investment Advisor with the State of Michigan. I have approximately $1 million under management and have been servicing clients under a fiduciary standard of care for three years.
I strongly urge you to extend the Advisers Act fiduciary standard of care to all financial professionals who provide personalized investment advice to retail clients. It is unfair to consumers that the quality of advice they receive from a financial professional is dependent on the professional's registration or title. It's no wonder consumers are confused, and do not know whether their financial professional is looking out for their best interests.
I can tell you from my personal experience that adhering to the fiduciary standard of care and putting my clients' interests ahead of my own benefits my clients and my business. My clients rest assured that I put their interests above my own; my loyalty is to them first; I will advise them with utmost good faith. No client every should have to worry that I would recommend a product that was not in their best interest in order to maximize my financial gain. The resulting client loyalty is good for my business as well.
I urge you to recommend to Congress that it is in the public interest and for the protection of consumers to extend the fiduciary standard to broker-dealers, who provide personalized investment advice, and to initiate a rulemaking to achieve this long overdue consumer reform.
Thomas Hardy CFP®
Hardy Financial Planning, Inc.