The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association announced Thursday the launch of its “Our Partnership with You” initiative, which is designed to help investors “get the most” out of their relationship with their advisor and highlights the fact that “both parties have responsibilities to one another.”
The initiative, which is part of SIFMA’s new broader investor-first initiative, “is all part of our commitment to fostering prosperity and helping Americans realize their financial goals, to fund their dreams and to use capital to fuel the growth of our country,” said Judd Gregg, SIFMA’s CEO, during a speech at The National Press Club in Washington.
“A strong relationship between individual investors and the financial industry is essential to helping investors achieve their financial goals,” said the former Republican senator from New Hampshire. “The financial services industry is dedicated to putting customers first through initiatives which protect investor choice, support investor education and enhance retirement savings.”
Gregg encouraged investors to “go and meet your advisor and get comfortable with them,” as “the advisor is there to help you in an area where you don’t have the expertise.” But, he warned, “go to someone who’s a true professional…and is on the side of the customer.”
SIFMA is encouraging its membership to share its “Our Partnership with You” document in their communications with clients.
The document outlines steps investors should take to inform and educate themselves, keep accounts current and use the right resources. “This means investors should read carefully all documents before making an investment decision, review the materials provided by their investment firm and ask questions as they arise. Investors should consider their investment options and be sure to ask questions and fully understand the choices,” the document states.
Chet Helck, SIFMA chairman and CEO of Raymond James Global Private Client Group, said at the event that Raymond James has “long had a similar document that helps to establish a strong foundation for the relationship between a financial advisor and his or her client.” Said Helck: “It’s the start of open dialogue and clear expectations, both of which build trust and are critical in helping clients determine their financial goals, then reach them through appropriate investments.”
Gregg also noted during his comments that he believes there has been a “piling on” of regulations. “We have received 15 million words under Dodd-Frank,” he said.