August 3, 2010
This is a comment to state my disagreement that the fiduciary standard will better protect consumers than the current suitability standard for broker-dealers and registered representatives.
Today I am series 6 and 63 licensed. It took months of study to earn these licenses. I complete my annual FINRA education requirements and every three years complete the NASD Continuing Education requirements. I submit all of my work to the suitability and compliance departments at each company for which I sell products. This is all done before
the consumer receives the product to insure it is the best and compliant product for their use.
The new regulations would look at the product and its effect on the client after they have gotten it under the fiduciary standard. The current system of suitability reviews before product purchase is better for the consumer since we explain the options and risks associated with each investment decision they are making and thus they make an informed decision.
At the time of purchase I am looking at the "best interest" of my client. Sometimes that product is the cheapest product on the market, sometimes it has the lowest or highest risk, sometimes it has a "life guaranteed
payout" while other times it may pay out for a fixed period of time. Since each of my clients is different I need to tailor the product used to their "best interest" when I set it up.
The products I set up with my clients involve many different risks over time such as "market risk","interest rate risk" and "volatility risk" to name only three. To add a vague legal liabliliy standard that looks back years later to interpret "best interest" will cerainly greatly increase the cost to consumers with a reduction of product choices and larger fees and expenses to cover the increased errors and omissions coverages I will need before I will offer any product to them.