Death of the Salesman

August 7, 2009


In my last column (Becoming Part of the Solution), I offered an eight-point proposal for reforming Wall Street. Now I recommend ways to reform brokers.

By Bill Singer, Attorney and publisher of and

Bill SINGER: The point here is to celebrate the death of the salesman--not to pillory the hundreds of thousands of hard working and honest men and women who are presently stockbrokers. My goal here is a simple one: To free those employees from the yoke of their employers, and to encourage them to pursue more professional goals than merely opening up new accounts or generating the largest number of commission dollars for the month. Those employment conditions denigrate the importance of FSPs [Financial Service Professionals] and reduce them to little more than used car salesmen trying to push clunkers off the lot. The investing public needs more honesty than a fast-talking salesman, and those who labor at the many branch offices around our country aspire for more than that pejorative cartoon of a career. As such, yes, I hope that the job of stockbroker becomes an anachronism within a generation and is replaced by a more sophisticated, more fairly compensated professional.

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