SIFMA, a trade group composed of banks, broker-dealers and asset management firms, tapped Judd Gregg in May to serve as chief executive. Here, the three-term U.S. senator from New Hampshire talks with Managing Editor Lorie Konish about what still needs to be done to restore investor confidence in the financial markets.
1. Bridging Main Street and Wall Street is one of the big initiatives you've talked about, particularly when it comes to lending. How can advisors make sure they're part of the movement toward responsible lending and sale of products? Above all, be honest and transparent with your clients. Give them your best opinions, but make sure they understand they are only opinions. There is nothing that's risk-free in this world, especially in the area of investment. But you're trying to do the best that you can to give them reasonable returns built around what they want and need. That's just common sense, but it's very important to communicate that, because individuals who are investing and who are putting money into 401(k)s or IRAs need to feel that the folks who are advising them are on their side and are there to protect them and to invest effectively for their unique situation. This is obvious, I guess, but it needs to be restated and reaffirmed with clients one on one, because there has been this difficult period in the market and people do have questions.
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