July 30, 2010
the fiduciary duty as defined by the Dodd-Frank Act would require that all broker-dealers be held to a legal and vaguely defined standard "to act in the best interest of the customer without regard to the financial or other interest of the broker, dealer, or investment adviser providing the advice."
The Act does not define what the rules are for compliance with a legal "best interest" standard - thus subjecting registered representatives to the potential of never ending lawsuits. For example, is "best" the cheapest recommended product? The "best" premium relative to the benefit of the product? The product with the "best" historic underwriting and service standards? Is it the one from the carrier with the "best" rating? The fiduciary standard in essence adds a vague legal liability standard that looks back (sometimes after many years) and is enforced after the fact by the SEC or trial lawyers who have perfect vision in hindsight.
Also, for captive agents, only able to write products with one company, how do we meet this standard? "Best" product that my company offers, or am I to send them away to another company (assuming I have time to learn about ALL The other products available with ALL the other companies out there to compare them to mine).
There is too much in question to pass an act of this sort as it stands.