July 21, 2017
Securities and Exchange Commission,
PEOPLE SPEND THEIR WORKING LIVES PAYING FOR THEIR FAMILIES AND PLANNING FOR HOW THEY WILL LIVE WHEN THEY RETIRE. IF THEY INVEST THEIR MONEY THINKING THAT THEY HAVE GOTTEN GOOD ADVICE, SOMETIMES THEY FIND THAT THE FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL WAS REALLY HELPING HIMSELF. THAT IS UNCONSCIONABLE. IF A PERSON IS CALLED A PROFESSIONAL, THEN THEY SHOULD BE HELD TO A HIGH STANDARD REGARDING THE ADVICE THEY GIVE!
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.