Subject: Standards of Conduct for Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers
From: Patricia Steen

July 20, 2017

Securities and Exchange Commission,
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.
Leaving retirees open to bad investments and investment advisers is beyond most retirees who are looking for honest, discerning individuals who work on behalf of the retiree. I worked for over 34 years in education, and had several offers to use and did use one which returned nothing to me other than what I put in. I lost years and years of gains. Thank goodness, I got smart and got out, but it was late when I did.
I do not want to be on Medicaid or any welfare programs as I worked long and hard for the little money I made as a teacher. There have to be policies in force to avoid this mess so many can fall into.
Patricia Steen