Subject: Standards of Conduct for Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers
From: Betsy Malpass

July 22, 2017

Securities and Exchange Commission,
Responsibility and integrity, common sense and respect for clients: apparently these concepts of civil behavior must be enforced by law in today's investment activities. Keep "advisors" honest. Make and enforce laws to keep everyone on the straight and narrow path of good behavior, please!
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.
Thank you for your attention.
Betsy Malpass