July 21, 2017
Securities and Exchange Commission,
Americans, indeed all people, hope for good health, for no legal problems , and for some financial stability in our later years. Doctors are required to provide patient centered treatmwents, not provide expensive services that support their own accounts. Likewise, lawyers have etical codes that they represent their client, not anyone else. When investors turn to financial professionals for advice, they expect and deserve advice that’s in their best interests. Any other standard is certainly immoral and should be illegal. 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 LIKE ME 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. The markets are too complex for the average citizen to navigate, and much of my financial security is in a pension fund that I do not manage personally; average people need to be able to rely on professional advice. I strongly 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. Anything else is shameful and is allowing financial rape and piracy in the code of law.Please act with the best interests of the American People in mind.