After my experience the past year as chairman of the Financial Services Institute, I have a message for our government's leaders in Washington: While the financial services industry as a whole has been tarred by Wall Street's brush, independent financial advisors are not the enemy - in fact, we are the invaluable solution. As American investors have made abundantly clear in recent years by embracing the independent advisory model, Main Street needs us, and we serve Main Street's best interests.

American investors understand the value of independence. They know the difference between an advisor focused on their needs and one focused on the directives of an investment banking arm who may be pressured to cross-sell the product of the month.

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