Rep. Bachus gives voice to the myth that advisers prefer to skate by with thin and ineffective oversight.
We question the practicality and necessity of Chairman Bachus's proposal to create a new, more expensive and less accountable regulator when there is a more effective, less costly option available. The simple fact (and the big secret) is that, together, Congress and the SEC can build and fund a very effective oversight program without creating a new regulator, and it wouldn't cost taxpayers a cent.
There are different ways to get there, one of which has been offered by Reps. Maxine Waters and Barney Frank, who have introduced a bill that allows the SEC to charge investment advisers for the cost of increased oversight. The vast majority of advisers surveyed have embraced this idea and are supportive of paying these costs out of their own pockets. In addition to costing only one-fifth that of outsourcing oversight to a self-regulatory organization like Finra, the Waters-Frank legislation also fairly spreads the cost of investment adviser oversight among firms big and small.
In the end, we want what will best protect investors, and outsourcing investment adviser oversight flies in the face of increasing consumer protection. So, instead of pointing fingers, we hope that Chairman Bachus will work with us, find that common ground and do what's right for the American public.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards
Financial Planning Association
National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
Arlington Heights, Ill.
The Wall Street Journal
August 13, 2012