June 5, 2017
I have been a Financial Advisor for 38 years, all with Edward Jones. During that time I have embraced the "Company Culture" of putting the client first. I have guided clients using Principals (buy quality, diversify, and hold for the long term) rather than Predictions.
I am hopeful that the SEC will take the lead in whatever happens with Advice Regulation. The DOL's misguided attempt with their recent regulation has had some very bad consequences on all investors especially the small investor. In the last 2 months I have had 2 situations (grandchildren of existing clients) that wanted to start an IRA with me. In both cases I had to send them away because they did not have enough money. Clients that have more resources have seen their choices of investments, AND the way they pay for them significantly reduced. The idea that as a fiduciary, I must now act in the "best interest" of my clients is laughable. If you read the headlines you will find that the crooks will find a way to cheat the people who have entrusted money to them, fiduciary or not. Our industry has relied on your Department to track those people down and remove them from the industry. If a retirement plan, or a nonqualified investment for that matter,is charging too much for their service, the free market economy allows for people to make a change. My clients are very unhappy that the government (DOA) feels they know better than the client, on how their money should be invested.
I am hoping that your Agency will bring some rational thought to this whole discussion.