I was speaking to a Washington regulator the other day about how to best help retirement investors when the conversation eventually turned to the E*Trade ad campaign controversy. Don’t get me wrong. We both loved the talking baby. Heck, it will forever be my daughter’s favorite element in any Super Bowl commercial. No. This particular question dealt with the whole idea of whether E*Trade has crossed some Marquis of Queensberry line when it came to taking on the competition.

It’s not like we’re the only one talking about this. Financial professionals are livid (see “Finance Pros Sound Off on E*Trade Ad Controversy,” FiduciaryNews.com, February 20, 2013) albeit for different reasons. Some feel E*Trade’s claim that the discount broker charges lower fees is exaggerated. In fact, a look at E*Trade’s fee schedule by Roger Wohlner in his blog ““E*Trade’s Fee Commercials – Informative or Misleading?” (The Chicago Financial Planner, February 18, 2013) shows this quite clearly.

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