November 2, 2010
I've been a financial professional for 6 years. I support renaming the 12b-1 fee, as it's a bit confusing right now anyway. However, if you allow BD's to set pricing and commission amounts, I will no longer be able to service clients that I have worked so hard to bring on over the last 6 years. My fear is that my advisory clients, who can afford fee based planning, will have access to my services, while the "smaller" clients, who need my help all the same, will not have access to me. I have to be able to run a business, and NONE of my clients expect anything for free. They expect to pay for good service. Discount brokerages will provide only fund advice, not planning services. My clients, in effect, have me on retainer for the 12b-1 fee currently. Without the fee, I cannot AFFORD to service them. Ask any of them- having a CFP on retainer for pennies is a deal. As it is with many well-intentioned ideas- the people you are trying to help will be the ones that are hurt. And with failing social security systems and underfunded pensions, the government needs folks to be as self-reliant as possible in the coming years. This is what I do.