August 2, 2010
I am an Insurance agent and Registered Representative in the state of Arkansas and I am writing regarding the legal fiduciary standard that is being discussed by the SEC. To have these titles with my name, I was required to pass a series of tests that require knowledge on multiple topics and common sense knowlege about how to treat people. Every regulation that is being developed by Washington is try to convince the public that Washington is going to keep them safe and make sure people are ethical and do business by the "Golden Rule". You continue to find new regulations to try to protect the public, and the public continues to get angry at me because of the amount of required paperwork that is required for them to invest their money or take out different types of insurance. They are also very unhappy when they need me, and would like to discuss their investments and insurance but I am not in the office or reachable by my cell phone, because I am either in continuing education or regulatory meetings and audits being done either by the company I am registered with or government agencies. My dad is a retired Texas State Trooper, and for the last 10 years of his serving as a state trooper his biggest complaint was that more laws are being written, and fewer are being enforced. This is exactly what I see happening with the SEC and other government regulatory agencies, they need the public to think they are busy and doing wonderful things, so they continue to create new legislation for the small business people, and after this financial crisis blows over, it will be onto something else (probably oil industry). With every legislative move made, there are additional costs that are passed onto the end consumer, and when we are asked what the fees on the Mutual Fund are for, we break our commission out, and the companies costs, and then show them that the other half is because of the regulatory "crap" that we are required to do and report. Personally I consider myself as very ethical, and because of this, my customers get all of the truth, and until you can train people to do this, your regulations will always present a loophole to squeeze through for those that want to find it. Please consider designating the money and time you want to use to develop new rules and compliance forms to enforcing the rules you have in place, and severely punish those that are purposely breaking those rules to make a profit. Regulations will eventually put the advisor out of business and stop the consumer from being willing to donate their money to fund companies.