July 30, 2010
As a registered representative, I am seriously concerned with the proposed fiduciary standard that is purported to better serve consumers than the current suitability standard under which I am currently supervised and regulated.
Current regulation and supervision is already at an all-time high under the FINRA and applicable state regulations. The costs of increasing compliance will eventually be felt by consumers through the passing through of such costs.
If we are forced to serve clients on a fee-only based model, consumers currently being provided valuable service will no longer have access due to the fees that would be required to support the time and expense of doing so.
And, how will the SEC define their standard? Will it be the cheapest cost? The highest projected accumulation? The company with the strongest financial strength? Etc., etc. Essentially, it is impossible to regulate a fiduciary standard in this business due to the many subjective factors that must be considered.
In addition, the subjectivity of a fiduciary standard in financial services can only ultimately result in greater amounts of litigation with those costs further increasing the expense of staying in this business while potentially forcing advisors out of the business.
Please do not impose this new standard that will not provide any improvement to consumers, casue increased costs on both advisors and broker-dealers, result in few consumers being provided service, and, potentially fewer advisors being able to stay in the business.
Thank you for considering these comments.