September 22, 2004
It appears this rule is flawed on the basis of its scope of determining who really qualifies as exempt because of their brokerage employement.
It seems to me that this rule should be altered in one of two ways:
1 Any person seeking to offer fee-based investment advice should be required to register with the SEC as an Investment Advisor or
2 Any person maintaining an NASD securities license should be exempted from registering as an Investment Advisor, regardless of the size/nature of their NASD Broker/Dealer firm employement.
The SEC rules should not carve out special exemptions for employees of large full service firms that do not apply to smaller firms. NASD registration does not differ from person to person depending on their employement.
As an NASD registered person, I should not be held to higher regulation just because I do not work for Merrill Lynch or any other large firm. As I am held to the exact same NASD standards as all other NASD registered persons, we should all be treated the same in the eyes of the SEC, regardless of the firm employing us--either regulate us ALL or regulate NONE of us.
As many SEC regulations DO NOT coincide with NASD regulations, I can personally understand the desire to not be SEC regulated however, if this option exists legally for SOME NASD registered persons, it should exist for ALL NASD registered persons.