August 24, 2010
Does the new standard replace the "Know your client" guidelines which have guided our practices for many years. Just what is the definition of a 'Fiduciary'?
Does it imply recommending the cheapest product/service? Does not 'know your client' still figure in in all decisions that should be recommended by the broker/RIA, etc. Now, all of this aside, the part that bothers me the most in the across the board Fiduciary Standard is the "implied liability" inherent in the definition. Unfortunately, there exist crooks in our business. This personality type will remain fixed to working around the law/definition etc. while the good guys will be looking over their shoulder for the next client law suit no matter how trivial because of the industry 'fiduciary standard'. This is a misguided law brought on by a regulatory body that failed to do its job (Maddoff, etal). The field force will pay for the SECs lack of oversight and enforcement. This new standard not only does not protect the investor any more than the myriad of current laws,and, worst of all it creates an arena for more litigation against advisors.