January 16, 2005
As a Certified Financial Planner, fully trained, educated, tested and certified in the area of Financial Planning and having worked with a full service Brokerage Firm, I urge the SEC to completely withdraw and not revise the proposed rule that continues to allow fee based brokerage programs to offer financial planning and other advisory services under what has been defined as solely incidental brokerage advice and therefore not subject to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. I do not feel that the use of a disclosure alone will protect the consumer from understanding the differences between brokers and financial planners. In the brokerage industry the common practice is to identify its brokers as financial consultants or financial advisors when if fact they are really stock brokers. The job of a stock broker is to sell a product to the client, not give objective advice. A disclosure will not protect the consumer when in fact the name implies something completely different. Only those trained and certified and registered as a RIA or an Investment Advisor Representative of a RIA, should be allowed under the rule to hold themselves out as financial planners, adviser or consultants.
I again urge you to fully withdraw this non consumer friendly proposal and enforce the Investment Adviser Act of 1940.
James F. Foster, CLU, ChFC, CFP
Certified Financial Planner practitioner