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Fiduciary Standard for Financial Professionals

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SEC: Extend the Fiduciary Standard to Broker-Dealers

Dear Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Schapiro and Commissioners:

We, the undersigned, believe a fiduciary standard should apply to anyone providing personalized investment advice to retail clients.

Following a fiduciary standard is simple: it includes providing clients with advice that is in their best interest without regard to compensation or other interests. Full disclosure of all material conflicts of interest is essential, regardless of how the advisor is compensated.

Most consumers assume their financial services providers are already required to provide advice that is in their best interest. Unfortunately, this is not the case. As a financial service provider, I can choose to operate under different regulatory structures, each with different standards and requirements for how I treat my clients. Some require me to put my clients’ financial interests ahead of my own, some do not. But there is no easy way for consumers to distinguish.

In a report issued in January 2011, the SEC recommended that the fiduciary standard be extended to all professionals providing personalized investment advice. Requiring financial professionals to act under the fiduciary standard is a common sense way to greatly increase consumer financial protection.

As a financial service provider, I believe that those who provide personalized investment advice to retail clients should be required to act in their clients’ best interests. I urge the SEC to enact a rule implementing a fiduciary standard so millions of American consumers can be guaranteed that the financial advice they’re getting is in their best interests.

Visit the Financial Planning Coalition at

[Your name]


The Financial Planning Coalition, a group representing nearly 75,000 financial planners, is a collaboration of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board), the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) to advise legislators and regulators on how to best protect consumers by ensuring financial planning services are delivered with fiduciary accountability and transparency.


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