August 23, 2004
I would like to thank you in advance for your time. I have never before felt strongly enough about a professional subject to write in during a comments period.
I can submit to you first hand that this rule proposal delay is hurting consumers, and I am respectfully requesting that this rule proposal be withdrawn.
The way consumers are being hurt is this: many of the large, conglomerate broker-dealers look at financial planning planning as purely a function to gather assets and therefore relegate, and regulate, in that manner. The best financial planner in these types of firms may not neccesarily need to have any core competencies within the financial field, only a gift to sell products.
I think it is immensely important that consumers have a standaradized manner to at least determine minimum standards of competency as it relates to a person who may be helping to design recommendations for their financial future. I beleive that the SEC has adopted truth in labeling as it relates to mutual funds and how they determine their individual names. Is it less important how the professionals who are recommending these funds are labeling themselves and portraying their competencies to the consumer?
I believe very much in the work that is being done currently to the end of transparency. Lets make a clear distinction on what defines financial planning, the term itself contains planning. Lets ensure that the consumer does not have to add a second definition to that of product salesperson. There needs to be clear guidelines of when certain names can be used. I have noticed many mutual funds have been changing their names from that type of terminology that they felt would be better for marketing purposes to terminology that more accurately reflects that which should be expected by the consumer. TRUTH IN LABELING
Thank you very much for your time.