Bob Clark thinks we here at NAIFA are “wacky.”
Maybe he read our blog posts citing the 1950s sci-fi classic Mars Needs Women or the philosphical musings of Woody Allen. All the same, we are very serious about protecting our members and their clients from potentially harmful regulations.
Bob Clark’s column does little to advance the standard of care debate. This is not the first time he has used this important issue to take condescending pot shots at NAIFA and our members. So be it. But he raises some points I would like to address.
The NAIFA-American College survey shows that an overwhelming percentage of registered representatives and dually registered advisors believe a one-size-fits-all SEC fiduciary rule will increase their costs and limit their ability to serve lower- and middle-income clients. Mr. Clark obviously disagrees. However, the matter is hardly decided. That is why the SEC, quite properly, is working to determine what the costs and benefits will be to consumers of applying a uniform fiduciary standard of care to investment advisors and broker-dealers.
I believe Mr. Clark is either naïve or disingenuous when he claims new layers of federal regulation would bring no additional costs to advisors or their clients. NAIFA members have a keen understanding of the costs that regulations carry. They are among the most heavily regulated financial professionals on the planet. Mr. Clark alludes to this fact when he writes, “How anything could cost more than FINRA is a mystery to me.”
What he fails to understand is that FINRA is not going anywhere. An SEC regulation would apply to registered reps on top of the extensive scrutiny they now receive from FINRA and their broker-dealers.