Subject: File No. S7-25-99
From: Karen M Schultheis

August 30, 2004

I recently heard that the SEC has proposed a rule that exempts brokerage firms from regulatory oversight over their advisory activities. I STRONGLY oppose such an exemption. Brokerage firms and very broker Ive encountered advertise themselves as trusted advisors and, as such, should be held to the same set of standards as true financial consultants/advisors. If companies like Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, etc. are or claim to be solely/primarily in the business of selling products, then they should not be allowed to market themselves as advisors. Thats just false advertising -- which we already have enough of in other businesses. Too many investors are being misled and often burned in this financial playground.