Kudos for your Letters to the Editor page in the October issue. You gave a masterful snapshot of the confusion that goes on in the industry. You begin with a registered rep referring to C shares as a “no commission” product and then asking an inane question about whether a NAPFA planner maintains records and incorporates a needs based analysis in the portfolio construction to [NAPFA CEO] Ellen [Turf]‘s non-defense defense which skirted the issue of whether or not the poll was even statistically valid.
If the poll was given to client’s of NAPFA advisors (which I was told it was) as well as to people contacting NAPFA, then you are going to get the high degree of respondents saying that they would rather work with a fiduciary.
Ellen’s further remark about the industry confusing the public about who is and isn’t a fiduciary and not NAPFA ignores the fact that NAPFA claims doctors and CPAs are fiduciaries when they indeed are not. The 1940 Act lays out a fiduciary standard but it creates room for confusion by granting exemptions. Remove all exemptions and we would have cleaner legislation. In the meantime the public should understand that the real benefit of dealing with an advisor who is held to a fiduciary standard is legal and can only be recognized when in court. There is no guarantee that an advisor held to a fiduciary standard will provide better investment or planning results.
At times I wish the rest of your magazine were as entertaining as the letters.
Morris Armstrong, CFP, ChFC, CDFA, AIF, EA
Armstrong Financial Strategies
B/D of the Year Correction
In preparing individual “scorecards” in September for the broker/dealers that participate in our annual Broker/Dealer of the Year balloting, the IA editorial staff became aware of a tabulating error in this year’s voting–due to a software error, some votes were not counted for some of the participating B/Ds. While fixing the error did not change this year’s winning B/Ds of the Year, there was some shuffling in the second and third places in some divisions. Here are the revised final standings of the 2007 Broker/Dealers of the Year.
First: Harbour Investments
Second: Prospera Financial
Third: Summit Brokerage Services