September 20, 2004
I urge you to withdraw this proposed rule.
If stockbrokers want to process transactions for consumers, fine. Let them state clearly what they do and in whos interest they are working.
But if stockbrokers want to offer objective financial and investment advice - and to listen to their advertisements, that is exactly what they claim to be offering - let them be held to the established standards and regulations governing investment advice, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.
Consumers are neither protected nor well-served when a business is allowed to present itself as offering advice while it hides behind the legal notion that such advice is incidental to its real mission, selling securities. How is a consumer to know if he/she is talking to an adviser with a fiduciary obligation or to a broker attempting to sell securities for their own benefit?
Again, please withdraw this proposed rule. Thank you.