August 24, 2004
I am writing to ask you to withdraw the broker dealer exemption because it causes confusion in the minds of the public. Where as a Registered Investment Adviser is subject to fiduciary standards of conduct, full disclosure of fees, and disclosure of any other conflicts of interest as well as required to deliver ADV documentation to the public, the broker dealer is only responsible to meet the NASD Suitability rules, a far lower standard.
People and/or organizations performing the same efforts and delivering the same work product should be regulated the same way so that the public has a fair and consistent expectation of the deliverable. The regulation of RIAs is the standard and the b/ds need to be held to the same standard.
Please withdraw the broker dealer exemption in the interest of fairness to the public. There is no reason the broker dealers cant comply with the RIA regulations.