August 30, 2010
I strongly advocate a fiduciary standard for all giving financial advice. I am a fee-only financial planner and hold myself to a fiduciary standard for my clients. From my experience, consumers don't understand the different roles their insurance agent, broker or bank/creduit union rep hold when they speak with them. My view is there's a common misperception that all advisors are looking out for the consumer's best interests. Most often, consumers are speaking with a salesman who needs to fill sales quotas. Additionally, consideration should be made as to the expense of proprietary products v. low cost investments and insurance products. How can a broker can meet a fiduciary standard selling a loaded mutual fund when a less expensive no-load fund is available? If a commissions on financial products were eliminated, like in the UK, much of this problem would change.