Subject: File No. S7-25-99
From: Jay L. Gershman
Affiliation: Financial Planning Association

September 7, 2004

I urge you to withdraw, not amend the Merrill Lynch rule regarding financial advice. As a financial advisor for the past seven years, I am very concerned that the public is often fooled into believing they are getting advice when they are actually getting sold. Anything the SEC can do to require more competency will possibly prevent future transgressions. If a commission salesman is willing to take a simple test, then he/she is eligible to give advise. Its not alot to ask in the first place Why is this rule even being considered in an era of repeated lapses of ethics? As I recall, wasnt Merrill Lynch included in one of those lapses? Why not make brokers take one additional test, not one less?