July 28, 2010
Whether one is held to a fiduciary standard should be determined by the nature of the services being delivered. For example, a financial advisor who is merely selling products to a client on a transactional basis could easily disclaim himself from acting as a fiduciary. On the other hand an advisor who is rendering advice for a fee (whether it be financial planning, investment advice, etc.) should be held to fiduciary standards. I believe that the advisor would need to declare their role and properly disclose that to the regulatory authorities as well as to the clients.