August 19, 2017
Securities and Exchange Commission,
I strongly support the fiduciary rule. right now the financial service sector can say, promise or do anything they wish to in regards to investment advice. They are salesmen and all salesmen are always selling the consumer the greatest thing since sliced bread. The facts about competing products are never really available to the consumer. Maybe as a society we can accept this when the consumer/citizen is buying a non-critical item with their extra disposable income..."buyer beware" goes the old adage. But this should NOT be the case when their retirement security is at stake. It does NOT make sense to let financial advisors say or do anything with someone's money just to make a profit for themselves and their company. There must be ethical standards of conduct and I believe these should be hard and fast rules codified in the rule of law.
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.