Schwab Story

It boggles my mind that you would think to glorify Charles Schwab by putting him on the August cover of your magazine. It is an insult to your main audience, the retail brokers, who have supported you over the many years.

The “lipstick on the pig” commercial has done more damage to our profession than anything I have seen in 25 years. In one broad stroke, he has managed to impugn the integrity of 500,000 investment professionals who make up our profession.
Michael J. Mazzafro
Branch Manager
Raymond James Financial Services
Cherry Hill, N.J.

Untrue Confessions

As a wholesaler for 12 years, I read with interest your recent article, Confessions of a Wholesaler. The piece, reportedly written by a wholesaler for a managed account company, proves Nick Murray's old adage that every fund company gets the wholesaler it deserves.

The article is an insult to brokers as well as wholesalers. Mr. Blackthorn starts off by saying, “If there is one thing lower on the food chain than a broker, it's a wholesaler.” I choose to believe otherwise. I have had the honor and privilege over the past 12 years of wholesaling to wirehouses and planners in the New York area and can honestly say that 99 percent of the brokers I have met have been professional, honest, hard-working and incredibly patient with their clients.

No other profession on earth demands so much of its people while delivering so much to its clients. The press is quick and correct in celebrating the medical profession for its recent advances. I would argue however, that no matter how far medicine improves, it is a losing game in the end. While all of a doctor's clients will eventually die, financial professionals can assist the same clients in making their assets live forever.
George Reedy
BlackRock Funds

Neither a Borrower, Nor a Lender Be

I was surprised to see the headline, Borrowing From Clients is Legal-But Foolish, in your August issue. Many, if not most, state securities laws expressly prohibit reps from borrowing money from their clients.

As a former regulator and current practitioner in this area, I can attest to the seriousness with which most regulators view loans between clients and reps. Sanctions for engaging in this sort of practice range from monetary fines to termination of registration, and any undocumented loans potentially raise issues of criminal liability as well.
Thomas D. Applewhite
Hirschler Fleischer
Richmond, Va.

The Future of Securities Futures?

I am a new reader of your publication, however, the few issues that I have read so far have been interesting. I have been a Series 3 registered broker for 10 years. The futures industry is excited about the prospect that security futures will soon be offered. I am surprised at the response that I have received from the equity side. It seems as if there is not much knowledge of the product.

On Sept. 3, the NFA and NASD announced a new Web-based training program for security futures. Upon completion of the training, a Series 7 or 3 registered rep will receive a certificate showing that they are proficient in stock futures. This certificate should provide the representative the ability to sell security futures products.

I would be interested to hear what your magazine and it's readers think of security futures.
Scott Merrihew
O'Bryan Commodities
Chicago