Hats off to the Investment Advisory Committee for recommending a fiduciary standard for retail brokerage firms. A fiduciary standard simply requires that the fiduciary place the client’s interest first. I have yet to see a financial advisor, however they are registered or licensed, disclaim that obligation while they are giving advice and getting compensated to do so. They don’t deny their loyalty obligations to clients who rely on them until there is a dispute. And, the fact is that Main Street investors don’t know the difference between a Registered Investment Advisory firm and a broker-dealer. They only know that they have a financial advisor, and they put their financial lives in the hands of that person. It makes no sense to hold some financial advisors to one standard and others to another, depending only on how they are licensed. If you give investment advice expecting a client to rely on it, you ought to be a fiduciary. Mark Schoeff wrote about the recommendation
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