July 21, 2017
Securities and Exchange Commission,
When I turned to my financial planner for advice, I placed my trust and my savings under his protection with the understanding he would steer me to investments in my best interests. I have no qualms that he is also compensated for his oversight, as he should be.
But some “advisers” who work for broker-dealers are not always required to meet the high standard I expect, 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!
Joan U. Smeltzer