August 30, 2010
I regard securities brokers as selesmen and therefore I expect their advice to be self-serving. However, their advice must also help me or I will go elsewhere. So the relationship is similar to that of products that are sold to the public.
I do not favor saddling brokers with fiduciary responsibility since it may be difficult to know when an investment is suitable for an individual person. Securities already are sold with the standard warnings about risk, so investors are forewarned.
I understand the concept of fiduciary responsibility and that is required of an investment advisor. It is critical that the investor understand how the advisor is compensated, since some do benefit from selling certain products and thus are more like brokers.
As a generality, I favor disclosure in understandable terms over burdensome regulation. E.g., "APR" is very understandable and helpful. A similar measurement for the total load of a mutual fund would be helpful, including administrative fees.