Subject: File No. S7-25-99
From: J. Charles Dunham

September 1, 2004

Regarding the rule exempting broker-dealers from the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 when offering fee-based brokerage programs...

Is this not creating two different standards of conduct for persons offering financial planning services? Certainly, two different standards of conduct are not beneficial to consumers, nor would it be fair to registered investment advisors. There would be a higher fiduciary standard for registered investment advisers and then a lower one under NASD suitability rules for brokers.

It also seems that the rule also exempts brokers from being required to disclose conflicts of interest in connection with the offering of financial planning services. Where does this benefit the consumer?