Regarding the SEC’s “Merrill” rule (“Brokers Win a Round,” May 2005), of course it is confusing to investors when they try to decide who will help them with investments. They know when they sell or buy a house that they use a real estate broker, and they call their insurance brokers when coverage is needed. Why is it so difficult to call someone who sells stocks, bonds, or mutual funds a broker?

Investment advisors, financial planners, financial advisors, and financial consultants are all fiduciaries responsible to their clients for acting in their clients’ best interests at all times. Let’s help the investor make an informed decision by telling the truth about who we are and what we do.

Milton G. Lefton, CFP

Asset Financial Services, Inc.

Chicago, Illinois

Kudos to Kaufman

I was lucky enough to benefit from the personal touch of Carolyn Kaufman (“Staying Grounded, “May 2005) when I met her at the FPA Residency Program for new planners in July 2004. I benefited greatly from coaching by seasoned planners such as Carolyn; she was one of five planners who devoted an entire week to the FPA program as unpaid volunteers.

Carolyn and colleagues pushed us further along the learning curve than we ever could accomplish on our own.

Eve Kaplan, CFP

Kaplan Financial Advisors, LLC

Berkeley Heights, New Jersey