September 1, 2004
This morning at a breakfast meeting I was approached by an estate planning attorney regarding a class-action lawsuit he is filing on behalf of his elderly clients. These clients were, according to him, all taken advantage of by large financial services companies giving financial advice. One 89 year old lady in poor health was advised to sell her Treasury Bonds and buy an annuity which she did that had an 8 year surrender charge. This is unfortuntely a common story.
I do not want to put the Broker Dealers out of business-- they are an essential component to the American Way
I do not question the Broker Dealers ability to do
financial planning--there are many good planners
afilliated with Broker Dealers of which I am one who
believe registration as an investment advisor is the
best law we have for the consumer now--although it is
not for everbody in a firm
We all agree that a more informed consumer is desired
We need a clear set of laws to support these beliefs.
More exemptions, exceptions or other loopholes simply make it more likely that the public will lose. Please help consumers make a more informed choice--remove the exemption and make everyone who does financial planning subject to the same set of rules.