Subject: Standards of Conduct for Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers
From: Mark Benson

July 22, 2017

Securities and Exchange Commission, Why on earth would you want to remove rules that protect people's pensions and investments? What you're attempting to do constitutes a form of theft. Republicans didn't used to engage in such revoltingly unfair behaviour. I used to be one. Now I am joining the fight against your efforts to further demolish the middle class. 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. Mark Benson