President-elect can fix the nation's woes

Nov 23, 2008 @ 12:01 am (Updated 11:47 am) EST

I was dismayed by the article in the Nov. 10 issue "Advisers doubt Obama," which reported that 61% of 968 financial advisers who took part in an InvestmentNews survey said that they lack confidence in President-elect Barack Obama's ability to resolve the country's economic woes.

It amazes me that so many advisers can look at the financial mess that we are in created and developed under President Bush and be concerned about Mr. Obama because he is a Democrat.

Mr. Obama is an intelligent, well-educated person who is unafraid to display his intellect. He has access to competent, seasoned advisers and, I am sure, will work diligently with Congress to help solve the economic and social problems that we face.

Mr. Obama will also be able to clearly communicate his plans without the assumption that we have lived with for the past eight years that the American public isn't able to understand multisyllabic words.

It took many years for the Bush administration to get us to where we are, and the problems won't be corrected overnight. However, the United States might now be able to rearrange its priorities.

I see no indication that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would have been willing to break away from the failed Bush doctrine.

Len Coris

President

Watermill Financial Group

Tucson, Ariz.

Obama could be our greatest president

I have been a financial adviser for more than 25 years.

I didn't vote for President-elect Barack Obama, but I wish to go on record as saying that this man will be our greatest president.

He will accomplish the improbable. Mr. Obama will unite the disenchanted with the optimists.

He will be a servant to all the people and teach us the basic reasons why this is the greatest country in the world. Mr. Obama won't be described as left, right or center.

He will be a president who holds his morals in honor of his love of family to the highest level. Mr. Obama will listen to all sides, ponder, deliberate, perhaps pray and then share with the American people his reasons for the decisions he makes.

We will no longer distrust politicians. We will have a renewed belief that we all matter.

We won't see color, wealth or waist size first. We will succeed because we care about this country, our families and our God, and we will put off our wants for the betterment of our country's needs.

We will pull together because for the first time in our lives we have chosen a true leader who loves his family and this country.

I am so proud to be an American today more than ever. I will forever remember that my vote counted.

I will have the memory that two great men ran for president, but only one could unite us.

Don Garney

President

Garney Massow & Associates

Mesa, Ariz.

Article smacked of 'partisan bitterness'

I enjoy your site and read most of the articles with interest.

I like to see open and honest debate on the issues. I have to say, however, that the article in the Nov. 10 issue "Advisers doubt Obama" troubled me.

Sixty-one percent of financial advisers who responded to the poll said that they have no confidence in President-elect Barack Obama's ability to resolve the country's economic problems. Since he was elected less than a week before the article appeared, I would say that isn't enough time to form an informed opinion.

Where were those advisers for the past eight years as the Bush administration sowed the seeds of this destruction and continued to make a bad situation worse daily? How could Mr. Obama do worse?

This article smacked of partisan bitterness.

Let's give Mr. Obama a chance. To continue to undermine the president-elect appears to me to be unpatriotic.

Jack Reed

Retired newspaper editor

Palm Harbor, Fla.

Time to face music and pay the bill

As a financial adviser who manages $400 million, I was disappointed to read that 61% of advisers who took part in your survey have little faith in President-elect Barack Obama.

The policies of the past eight years have led us to the worst equity and debt market performance since the Great Depression. Skewing income to the upper 5% of taxpayers with the hopes that prosperity would trickle down, while increasing spending, increasing government debt and deregulating financial companies, has brought our markets to near-collapse.

Economies are built from the bottom up. Government has a role to serve, and we as a society need to pay the bill.

Those who have been given much need to pay more has been the premise of progressive taxation since its inception.

Infrastructure, oversight, national defense, regulation and social obligations have costs we need to bear if we are to thrive.

The ideology that has led us to this point has left our country and financial markets in peril. While we believe in the free-enterprise economy, constraints and regulation are essential.

Free markets don't self-regulate, as Alan Greenspan has come to learn. Individual and government debt must be responsible and manageable.

The larger question most of us need to ask is, when is a tax cut not a tax cut? With the dollar under pressure, oil prices doubling, food prices inflating and health care costs out of control and becoming unaffordable and beyond the reach of most Americans, reducing taxes by $500 to $1,000 won't alleviate the economic crisis.

Mr. Obama is presenting us with an opportunity to change our discourse, approach our economic problems from the bottom up, correct the inequities of the past eight years and change the worldview of America to bring us back to being the last best hope of the world.

I am proud once again to say I am an American, and this isn't a time to complain or wither but rather stand up to the challenges and pay the bill.

Peter J. LaBella

Partner

FMA Advisory Inc.

Harrisburg, Pa.

Finra is pushing SEC to make EIAs a security

Re: the story that appeared in the Nov. 10 issue, "Agents: SEC oversight not needed for EIAs," this is a case of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. of New York and Washington pushing the Securities and Exchange Commission to make equity index annuities a security so that a broker-dealer can terminate a representative, and he or she won't be able to find another broker-dealer.

I have been there and seen it. The broker-dealer wins.

If the SEC regulates EIAs as securities, the contract isn't then between the agent and the insurance company with vesting for the agent; instead, the contract will be between the broker-dealer and the variable-life-insurance company or annuity company. The agent finds the client, serves the client with different options, answers all the clients' questions to the point that the client wants to own the product.

The broker-dealer, who is nothing more than a jobber who processes the order, owns the business and did no work toward the sale. The agent has set himself or herself up for termination in later life so that the renewal income will continue to go to the broker-dealer.

This is just another example of the "greed is good" mantra, of which we are seeing the results almost daily.

Peter F. Green

Retired editor

Green on Money

Cinnaminson, N.J.

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