Subject: Standards of Conduct for Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers
From: Gae Weber

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. NOT fully implementing and enforcing the fiduciary rule tells individual investors, who rely on their financial advisor to help secure their future, that their security is of no consequence; that it is more important that their broker and the firm he or she works for make money than that they act ethically and responsibly with the money entrusted to their care. How there can be ANY QUESTION AT ALL about the necessity of this rule utterly baffles me. It should be tattooed on the forehead of every individual who handles other people's money and should be treated like an eleventh commandment. Gae Weber