Subject: File Number S7-07-18
From: George Levy

July 29, 2018

To the SEC: With regard to Proposed Rule S7-07-18 (standard of conduct for broker-dealers), I strongly support a standard of conduct applicable to any seller of securities to the public that puts the interests of the individual investor first. Ideally, the Dept. of Labor’s proposed Fiduciary Rule relating to retirement accounts would now be law; however, that rule is now defunct. The burden and the trust of American investors therefore lies with the SEC, which is the proper federal agency to promulgate rules to safeguard the interests of investors. For as long as I can remember, small investors saving for retirement and retirees have been subject to industry sales practices with one primary goal in mind: to enrich the seller of securities, often to the detriment of the investor. My mother was the victim of the abusive sales practices of one of the nation’s largest brokerages in the 1980’s, and she lost a lot of money with recommendations for poorly performing, illiquid investment products, including oil-gas and real estate limited partnerships. She depended on that money to support herself, as she had no pension and no IRA. The same abusive sales practices that existed in the 1980’s and caused great harm to middle class investors dependent on the brokerage industry for financial advice STILL EXIST today. For example, the Wells Fargo scandal involving its wealth management division involves the same injurious sales practices exhibited by the nation’s largest brokerage houses for as long as their histories of existence. Again, I respectfully urge the SEC to promulgate one or more rules to finally safeguard American investors from conflicted sales practices. The best and most effective rule would impose a fiduciary standard on all sellers of investment products, applicable to anyone selling securities and investment products to unsophisticated middle-class Americans saving for retirement or already in retirement. Thank you George Levy