August 6, 2010
I am a financial representative, currently studying for my securities licensing. I have passed the 63 and am taking the 6 in a week. As I prepare to enter the securities world of my practice, I find it disconcerting that the SEC would circumvent Congressional actions and decisions and decide to enforce a fiduciary standard on all registered representatives, regardless that Congress believes it best and wisest to study the matter out thoroughly and thoughtfully, with support from industry representatives and input from those it would impact most--namely reps and their clients. As I prepare to become a registered representative of my broker/dealer, I worry that such an action by the SEC would not be in anyone's best interest, and may be more a knee-jerk reaction than we need right now in our current financial environment.
I disagree that the fiduciary standard has protected consumers better. Basically, the fiduciary standard looks back and enforces breaches retroactively through SEC enforcement or private lawsuits. The suitability standard looks forward and tries to prevent harm to consumers through ongoing and frequent FINRA and broker-dealer audits and compliance processes. A fiduciary requirement would expose me and my team to frivolous suits and endless inquiries. I am all about protecting the client and the client's concerns and needs, but this would create a letigious environment, much like we see now in the current health care market, where everyone will be practicing "defensive medicine"--essentially, looking out for what's best for THEMSELVES, NOT what's best for THE CLIENT, protecting themselves (not the client) from backfall.
I have previously submitted a response regarding the SEC's efforts to enforce a fiduciary standard on all registered reps and wish to reaffirm my firm desire to see the SEC drop this pursuit. It is not a good path to go down and will not better the situation we're in, nor would it have prevented it. Thank you for your consideration.
Yours sincerely submitted,
Northwestern Mutual Financial Network