Advisors pay attention. For the last two years, many firms, large and small, have been been moving their clients into fee-based accounts. This mostly started as a response to the fiduciary rule, but had the side benefit of driving more revenue for advisors. However, a new lawsuit against Edward Jones says that doing say may violate reverse churning rules. The case could expose all firms that have undertaken the same practice. Consumer Federation of America head Barbara Roper commented that “We have heard persistent reports that this is happening at a number of firms, and I have heard that from sources I consider reliable”.
FINSUM: This is a tough situation for firms. On the one hand you are being subjected to new rules and guidance saying fee-based accounts are better and safer, but because you are moving to such a model (many big brokers almost did away with commission based accounts), you are being subjected to claims of reverse churning. What a mess.