When President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 into law on July 21, 2010, he set into motion a requirement by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to look into the business practices of brokers-dealers and investment advisers. The SEC is not wasting time, as today it published a request for public comment in order to build an investigation into the current obligations and standards of these financial workers who provide personalized investment advice about securities to retail investors. The aim is not condemnation of actions in the past, as charges may not arise directly, but rather to put together a study that will likely be published as a result. This will outline any gaps, shortcomings, or overlaps in the current legal or regulatory standards, according to a quick brief from the SEC. “Broker-dealers and investment advisers provide critical financial services to millions of American investors,” said SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro. “A system that fairly and effectively regulates these market participants is essential to protecting investors. We look forward to receiving comments from the public on these important issues.” The public comment period will remain open for 30 days, following publication of the comment request in the Federal Register. The Obama Administration is also seeking public and industry comment on the future of the US housing finance system beginning with a “Conference on the Future of Housing Finance” in Washington DC on Aug. 17. Write to Jacob Gaffney. The author holds no relevant investments.

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