August 23, 2004
There is nothing in the proposed rule that is salvagable. No broker/dealer should be exempt from the rules for providing investment advice. Investment advice is an intergral part of selling securities. The broker/dealers should have to follow the same rules that an independant financial advisor must follow now. If they do not follow the same rules, how will the consumer know when they are receiving or not receiving objective advice.
This rule is not a step forward for the consumer. If this rule is finalized in its present form, consumers will continue to be harmed by the large broker/dealers and the government will have allowed it. If nothing else, the broker/dealers should have to run their businesses the same way as independant Investment Advisors. This is the model that the consumers are flocking to. If the consumer is provided a level playing field, they will choose the independant investemnt advisor everytime because the IAs are revealing their conflict of interests to the consumers, the broker/dealers are not.
Again, do not finanlize this rule as is--it should be scrapped completely.