August 23, 2004
I am writing to ask the SEC to please withdraw the rule exempting broker-dealers from the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 when offering fee-based brokerage programs.
The rule is harmful to consumers by creating two different standards of conduct for persons offering financial planning services: a higher fiduciary standard for registered investment advisers and a lower one under NASD suitability rules. The rule also exempts, in effect, brokers from being required to disclose conflicts of interest in connection with the offer of financial planning services. The rule is completely unfair to registered investment advisors and is not good for the public. It creates double standards. Thank you.