July 30, 2010
The main issue is that the investment industry is badly serving its customers, in large measure because of inherent conflicts, conflicts the industry does its best to obscure. Adopting a fiduciary standard would be a large step in the right direction, but only if there are teeth behind it. The problem in this case is that the SEC is a particularly incompetent agency that appears more sensitive to industry than the citizens it is supposed to serve.
If you sell investment advice, you should be a fiduciary and held to standards with strict enforcement. Period.
Retail investors cannot take responsibility for their decisions if the person they trust to provide them with the information they need is slanting that information.