January 6, 2005
The future of the Profession of giving and receiving investment advice must be of such high integrity that the public can be able to rely on both the professional and the services they provide. To exempt Broker Dealers from complying with the Act of 1940 by not registering as an Investment Adviser goes against this very principal. In its simplest form charging a fee is compensation for providing a service, in this case one which requires the care of a fiduciary, specifically trained and accountable to the client. Compensation in the form of a commission is in its simplest form is for providing a product and does not incur the same level of care, nor does it require a fiduciary standard. The request by the Broker Dealers to be exempt is simply a request to be relived from the Fiduciary standard of care allowing future brokers to charge a fee for service as a substitute commission, while at the same time putting forth a public image of providing the same level of service as those professionals who have chosen to comply. Why? This is the only conclusion I can reason, solely to deceive the investing public into believing the broker is in fact the same as a Registered Investment Adviser. At its very core this goes against public policy and borders on fraud by Broker Dealers. To think this proposal would be allowed to exist in todays increased regulatory environment is a black eye to the heroic efforts made by the SEC to stop just this type of manipulation and deceit in the marketplace. If the Broker Dealer wishes to offer fee accounts, it is in the best interests of the public to require them to register as Investment Advisers.