Subject: Standards of Conduct for Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers
From: Russell Potter

July 21, 2017

Securities and Exchange Commission, It is a well known fact that investment advisors are sales people first when it comes to small fish. They cannot be trusted and look to see how much they can make on the client rather than how much can I make FOR my client. Enforcement has been weak at all levels of "protection of the investor". The only way to protect the retirement funds of Americans is the fiduciary standard. This is ever more important since the demise of the pension plan in our society. Those who oppose the fiduciary standard will be the first to say that the public is responsible for themselves in retirementand fight against government intervention. This is sham to allow them to sell overpriced investments and profit therefrom, which reduces the amount available to workers at retirement. When investors turn to financial professionals for advice, they expect and deserve advice that’s in their best interests. But some “advisers” who work for broker-dealers are not always required to meet that standard, and some may even be paid in ways that reward them for putting the interests of the firm ahead of the best interests of the customer. Investors lose out on tens of billions of dollars in investment returns each year when these conflicted advisers recommend inferior investment products that pay them more. I urge the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt new rules, modeled on the Department of Labor’s rule for retirement investment advice, requiring brokers to act in their customers’ best interests and requiring firms to reduce conflicts that undermine that standard. Investors don’t need more boilerplate disclosures, they need real protections from industry practices that put their financial well-being at risk. Russell Potter