Let’s say you were the incoming chairman of a professional association, and thought your organization was getting the short end of the stick from a pair of more powerful bodies. You might want to make a stink about it, and you might hit on Twitter as a suitable venue. And if your name was Ron A. Rhoades, and your organization was the National Association of Personal Financial Planners—and if you were taking on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the House of Representatives, you might tweet something like this:
The issue? A bill sponsored by House Financial Services chair Spencer Bachus that would install Finra as the self-regulating organization for independent investment advisers. If you were a NAPFA member, or its incoming chairman, here’s why such a bill would sting: Fee-based investment advisers more or less define themselves in opposition to the commission-charging broker-dealers that form the base of Finra’s constituency.
Or as current NAPFA chair Susan John described the organization’s feelings in a press release last month, “An organization that is designed to protect commission-based broker-dealers and wirehouses has no business overseeing independent advisers who, by law, work in the best interests of their clients first.”
So Mr. Rhoades isn’t the first person to utter a discouraging word about Finra. On the other hand, he’s noteworthy for the persistence with which he expressed his plaint. From today alone:
Finra spokesman George Smaragdis declined to comment. Mr. Rhoades said he hadn’t gotten any feedback from Finra about the tweets, not that he minds. “The purpose is to keep the opposition on the Bachus bill strong,” he told The Observer. “I am getting quite bit of feedback back from advisers who like the tweets and say, ‘Keep going.’”