August 26, 2004
I urge the SEC to WITHDRAW, not amend, this rule proposal. We believe 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
Allowing brokers to infer that they have a fiduciary relationship to a client,
when in fact they do not, is the kind of thinking that has caused so many
scandals in our profession and undermines public confidence in financial
Those of us who accept fiduciary responsiblity and act as agents of our
clients ought to be clearly differentiated from salespeople who are beholden
to a wirehouse or other financial institution.