Subject: File No. S7-25-99
From: Mark Atherton, CFP
Affiliation: Member of NAPFA, FPA

February 4, 2005

I believe that if a broker-dealer wants to give advice that goes beyond the traditional buy this, sell that because, then it should register under the Advisers Act. Exemption from the Advisers Act denies consumers important protections that simply do not exist in the broker-dealer sales-oriented regulatory environment.

As a practicioner in this field, I see examples of the harm that advisors can create with poor advice everyday. At the very least, consumers should be provided clarity and disclosure regarding their advisors potential conflicts of interest, compensation, and fiduciary or non-fiduciary duty so they can make an educated decision in these matters.