August 29, 2010
Ideally and from the point of view of an investor, I would like to see the requirements for brokers (who now call themselves "financial advisors") and real independent financial advisors merged. However, the broker/dealers who employ "brokers/aka financial advisors" will scream because they need their salesforce to continue to push risky investments (compliements of their investment bankers) onto their retail clients. A huge generation of people are about to retire, and I don't want to see them get fleeced by brokers masquerading as helpmates. The time to act is IMMEDIATELY
At the very very least, it should be made illegal for brokers to call themselves anything but just that. Obviously, allowing them to call themselves "financial advisors" is a misnomer and dangerous to retail clients. Most Americans know what "broker" means and it's not good. If broker/dealers want the current suitability-only standard enshrined going forward, then they should be forced to live with a retail sales force carrying the stigma of "broker."