From the July 2009 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Googling Advisors, Obama's Learning Curve

Readers explain what prospective clients don't find when they 'google' advsiors and share their thoughts on Obama's 'real' learning curve.

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Nothing but the Best Execution Along with the many other fiduciary obligations owed by RIAs, firms owe a duty to seek best execution of clients’ transactions.  If they fail to do, RIAs violate Section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act.
  • Pay-to-Play Rule Violating the pay-to-play rule can result in serious consequences, and RIAs should adopt robust policies and procedures to prevent and detect contributions made to influence the selection of the firm by a government entity.
What Prospects Don't Find When ....

I enjoyed reading the May edition of Research Magazine. I particularly enjoyed Jane Wollman Rusoff's piece ("What Do Prospects Find When They Google You?") about online marketing.

As much as I agree, I was however somewhat amused by your cover story. Coming from the wirehouse world (10 years, recovering) anything even written is frowned upon, if not explicitly banned, in the name of liability control and under the guise of compliance.

Voice mail gives the average branch manager nightmares, and e-mail likewise is similarly censored out of existence. Wall Street e-mail servers must be the modern day equivalent of the Maytag repairman, lonely to say the least.

The thought of having any kind of creative, thought-provoking online media presence of any sort is laughable and would be considered heresy. I suspect this is the case throughout the mainstream financial advice machine.

Sean M. O'Brien, President, Andover Equity Investment Group LLC

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The Real Learning Curve

Regarding Ken Fisher's piece "Obama's Learning Curve" in the June issue, the article points out many truths about the Democrat vs. Republican debate over who is better for the stock market. I strongly agree that any new president will try to implement his policy goals within the first two years and President Obama is no different. However, the article wants to make him out to be no different than Clinton, Kennedy or FDR regarding spending and his socialistic agenda.

President Obama's majority interest in several banks, insurance companies and automakers, along with stated goals for a national health care system, followed by government control over carbon/pollution/energy --- how is this not central planning at a minimum and a shake-down of American business to conform to President Obama's wishes for state control over production and lifestyle?

Mr. Fisher would like us to believe that President Obama's stimulus plan and proposed budget is no big deal. He only compares the current year debt as a percentage of GDP around 40 percent as normal and sustainable. If you look at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates for the next 10 years released March 20, we should all be very concerned. The CBO estimates the cumulative deficit would include $9.3 trillion in additional debt from 2010 to 2019.

This would more than double the national debt held by the public from $6.7 trillion to $17 trillion. The interest alone would reach nearly $1 trillion per year or 35 percent of GDP!

The CBO estimates do not show the annual budget deficits ever coming down and they can not possibly reflect additional debt for national health care, wars or other unforeseen national issues. The only way to pay for any of this will be much higher taxes for individuals, businesses and embedded (pass through to consumer) taxes.

It is sad to say, as the article points out, that most presidents play to the middle for the sole goal of being re-elected. The American people deserve better out of our politicians. We need someone who promotes capitalism and individualism, someone who will take fiduciary responsibility with the national debt and annual budget and someone who doesn't care about re-election.

John M. Lugauer, Kalamazoo, Mich.
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Readers are invited to share their views via jlevaux@researchmag.com

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