Editor’s Letter: Your Opinion Please

If you work at one of the big national firms, we want to hear from you. We are now surveying our wirehouse readers for our 18th Annual Broker Report Cards (yes, we're still using the word for tradition's sake). How does your firm measure up to others in the industry? How do other investment professionals rate their own companies? With our annual Broker Report Card, you get a chance to score your own

If you work at one of the big national firms, we want to hear from you. We are now surveying our wirehouse readers for our 18th Annual Broker Report Cards (yes, we're still using the word “broker” for tradition's sake). How does your firm measure up to others in the industry? How do other investment professionals rate their own companies?

With our annual Broker Report Card, you get a chance to score your own firm on a variety of issues, from quality of support to the quality of your branch manager. In our forthcoming December issue, we will provide our readers with hard numbers that compare the major national full-service brokerage firms to see which are the leaders, and which firms are falling behind. Use the URL below to access the survey:
http://insidepenton.com/research/er/rgrbrc08.htmn

All this information depends on the special effort and goodwill of many dedicated subscribers. Filling out and submitting the questionnaire — a CONFIDENTIAL questionnaire, mind you — allows you to play an important role in Registered Rep. magazine.

As an added incentive, you may enter your name into a drawing to win one of four $100 Amazon.com gift certificates - simply enter at the end of the survey.

Please complete the survey online — anonymously — by entering the above URL in your web browser. You can also access the survey at our website, registeredrep.com.

Auction-Rate Securities

I've been catching a little flack from a UBS pal (that is, a non-retail advisor, please note) regarding our cover story from May. In that issue we discussed the freezing over of the auction-rate securities market, noting that wealthy retail clients were adversely affected by ARS market breakdown — a market which many had come to think was as safe as a money market fund. Well, we all learned that ARS were in fact nothing of the sort. Our cover featured Stephen Joffe, a physician and entrepreneur and UBS client, who sued UBS because he couldn't get his money out of preferred stock of the Eaton Vance Limited Duration Fund. My UBS friend protested that Joffe was hardly the “poster boy” for aggrieved investors, since he's since received nearly $1 million of his money (he is still owed $400,000), and, eventually, he'll get all of it back, plus interest. That may be so, but as one Washington lawyer told me, the lawsuits will hurt the brokerages on misrepresentation, suitability and etc., predicting that the “regulatory fall out is going to be huge.” As our senior writer Halah Touryalai reports on page 38, independent RIAs are having a field day with this, using the fiasco as the centerpiece of their marketing to win wirehouse clients.

We thank you for your support. Drop us a line with your comments: 249 W. 17th St., New York, N.Y. 10011-5300. Or email us: [email protected]. Publisher Rich Santos can be reached at [email protected].

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