August 24, 2004
With regard to the Broker Dealer rule exempting broker-dealers from the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 when offering fee-based brokerage programs, I urge you to withdraw, not amend, the rule proposal. This rule would create the perception to the consumer that broker dealers charge less than registered investment advisors and Certified Financial Plannersr- who fully disclose their fees and charges. This rule will add to the confusion and deception that exists in the financial services industry.
The rule is anti-competitive by creating two standards of conduct for persons offering financial planning services: one for registered investment advisers and one under NASD suitability rules and anti-consumer, by permitting non-disclosure of conflicts of interest by registered representatives. Again, I urge you to WITHDRAW this rule.