August 24, 2010
The premise behind this effort is based on the perception that the legal fiduciary duty governing investment advisers provides greater investor protection than the suitability standard governing broker-dealers.
I disagree that the fiduciary standard has protected consumers better. Basically, the fiduciary standard looks back and enforces breaches retroactively through SEC enforcement or private lawsuits. The suitability standard looks forward and tries to prevent harm to consumers through ongoing and frequent FINRA and broker-dealer audits and compliance processes.
The system is not broke, to fix it in the name of consumer protection may sound appealing, however the pratical application of how I conduct business today is better than the system you are considering.