June 30, 2009
I wish to add my voice in strong opposition to many of your changes to the custody rule as evidenced in your release # IA-2876. I am a CFP (reg # 637), an FPA member since the early 1970's and currently serve as Chair of the Foundation for Financial Planning. Specifically, I am opposed to the requirement in the proposed amendment to the custody rule that would subject investment advisors to a surprise audit by an accounting firm. Small firms like mine simply cannot afford an $8100 audit fee for something that has not been a problem for the public. This is not an effective regulatory response to a problem that is more political than financial. Public criticism of the SEC and political pressure on Congress following the Madoff scandal may be warranted. However imposing this kind of audit on advisors is simply onerous and non-productive. Client elect to have their fees deducted from their cash account and are made fully aware of those fees on a regular basis. An onerous fee like this to small advisors will have to be passed along to the client in the form of a higher asset management fee...totally unnecessary. Congress should have the ability to give the SEC more resources to hire and train additional, competent staff to increase the regular audit cycle of RIA's. Thank you.