September 11, 2004
From decades of experience with discount and full-service firms, financial advisors as well as CFPs, I have found a very clear-cut difference between them. There is nothing incidentally provided by firms or their brokers. Their promotion of stocks and other products has never been to benefit the individual consumer. Major financial companies have proven that they will promote specific stocks for their own benefit, regardless of their true value.
The SEC must be very assertive in making this system as transparent and apparent as possible. There is no trust in a service that wont clearly state how it is structured and what motivates the suggestions, promotions and exchanges.
Any ruling that would allow a firm to be less than perfectly clear in who is providing what product for what reason is unacceptable.