August 23, 2004
I am a veteran of over 20 years in the financial planning profession, the first seventeen of which I was an NASD licensed Series 6,7,22,24 sales person and Registered Principal. For nearly the past three years I have rendered investment advisory and financial planning advice on a fee-only basis under my firms Registered Investment Advisory status with the State of Oregon. Because for most of my career I earned most of my income from the sale of commissioned financial products, I make my comments without an adverse bias to that segment of the financial advisory field. In the past few years, I have also been engaged several times by attorneys whose clients are pursuing actions against brokers and financial planners through the NASD arbitration process. So, given my considerable and far ranging experience in this arena and having followed the arguments of both sides as reported in the financial press, I can see no way that it is in the consuming publics best interest to have NASD licensed sales people exempt from what I perceive to amount to an implied fiduciary responsibility to act in their clients and customersbest interests in conducting investment sales. I am open to being informed as to any sound reasoning for this propoesed exemption. Along with my colleagues in the professional financial planning community,I request that you withdraw this exemption.