September 7, 2004
I urge you to rescind the Merrill Lynch rule. This rule only serves to confuse the public about the difference between an advisor acting as a true fiduciary and an advisor acting as a sales representative of a brokerage. This rule smacks of cynicism and brings to mind the classic metaphor of a wolf in sheeps clothing.
The SEC must act to uphold the highest standards of public trust. The Merrill Lynch rule serves neither the public trust nor the spirit of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.