August 30, 2010
Personally I find the many different available names for advisers (broker, investment adviser, financial planner, consumer advocate, dealer-broker and so on) to be designed to confuse the average consumer.
I can't name a single (well educated) friend that can tell you the difference in a broker or investment adviser, or who is or isn't bound by law to a fiduciary standard.
The rules allow for the 'broker' to imply that they put your interest first but really they are not required to do so. Even if you ask, the answer may well depend on the question and how you ask it.
I see no reason to have a dozen or so names for basically two different type of professions, other than to confuse the consumer.
Given the behavior of the finance industry from the 2007-8 finance crisis we should all see that they will put their interests first unless obligated by law to do otherwise. This is all good and well for people dealing with others w/in the industry. But there are too many innocent and naive consumers to prey on that have no idea what they may be getting into.
Just my two cents.