Subject: Standards of Conduct for Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers
From: Cleta Booth

July 21, 2017

Securities and Exchange Commission,
I am writing to urge you to fully implement and enforce the fiduciary rule. I am a 74 year old widow. My husband and I were both employed by universities. We did not get pensions; our retirement benefits were in the form of 401(k)s. Except for a modest social security payment, all the money I have to last for the rest of my life is invested in funds I am not prepared to manage. I DEPEND on having advice that is in my best interest, not in the best interest of the advisor. I am by far not the only person of whom this is true. It is a national problem the fiduciary rule was meant to solve.
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.
Cleta Booth