September 10, 2004
I am writing to you as a private investor with many years of experience and also previous employment experience in several areas of the financial services industry. In my opinion there has never been a greater need for definition and delineation of independent financial advice than at present. Aspects of financial planning are broad and diverse. Too many (sales) people are allowed, almost encouraged by their companies to represent themselves to the public as planners when indeed they often have limited breath of knowledge in their own product area. The public is confused and easily "taken". Truly ethical, competent professionals are being devalued by others posing as planners, dispensing advice "incidental" to their main activity. The cross-over between banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies and management consulting firms has left the average person in the dark about whom to trust for financial advice. Please reconsider this ruling. Certified and credentialed financial planners, adhering to ethical standards are the appropriate place for quality, independent financial counsel. Giving this privilege to anyone else, is condoning the wolf-in-sheep's-clothing.