July 30, 2010
1. A fiduciary standard did not help the Madeoff investors. The SEC will be assuming a role of additional, massive compliance which has,thus far, not demonstrated increased protection for the public. The fiduciary standard will radically increase compliance responsibilities for the producer and the government. Will the time, complexity and cost translate to something significantly better than what is currently afforded under an appropriately enforced suitability standard?
2. A fiduciary standard will devastate the typical small investor who cannot afford the fees required by a fiduciary. The application of a fiduciary standard will actually most hurt those least capable of understanding or managing their own investments. This would be a classis case of unintended consequences. The bulk of my small clients cannot pay for, and I cannot afford to provide them service under a fiduciary standard.