There is a currently a great deal of confusion surrounding the fiduciary rule, and understandably so. The rule is technically in force, but not fully, and there is even confusion over the interpretation of the rule and how it should be implied. With that in mind, lets clear up a few myths. The first and biggest myth is that the rule compels advisors to offer the lowest cost investment. It does not. It also does not mean advisors need to choose the “best” investment. While best interest is the rule, this does not mean advisors need to try to attain an impossible standard. Under the best interest contract, the three goals to meet under DOL rules are: “compensation paid to the broker-dealer and adviser is reasonable, recommendations must be in the best interest of the customer, and communications with the customer may not be misleading”. In terms of defining what “best interest” itself means, “’best interest’ requirement says that the recommendation must be prudent, take into account relevant information about the customer, and put the customer’s interests above those of the broker-dealer and the adviser”.
FINSUM: The confusion over the half-baked rule is very understandable, especially given the overall leadership vacuum surrounding its half-implementation.