Wednesday, 13 February 2019 08:04

Another Fiduciary Rule is Headed Our Way

(Washington)

Advisors across the country are nervous about how the fiduciary rule-best interest rule saga may play out. To be honest, the situation has been growing bleaker by the week: numerous states are issuing their own fiduciary rules while the SEC and DOL both rework their original rules. This all means there is a good deal of regulation yet to come. Today, there is more reason to be sullen, especially if you are on the east coast, as Maryland has just announced plans for its own fiduciary rule. “(Financial professionals) have a fiduciary responsibility, morally, to make sure that their advice is in your best interest, but that has not been the law," said Senator James Rosapepe of Maryland.


FINSUM: State-based fiduciary rules with no federal rule, or a lighter federal rule, is just about the worst situation possible, as it will create a spider’s web of confusing and overlapping regulation with many grey areas and loop holes.

Published in Wealth Management
Monday, 04 February 2019 11:16

The BI Rule Has Backfired Badly

(Washington)

The SEC’s regulation Best Interest Rule appears to have backfired badly. A darling of the industry, in most senses, the rule is so convoluted and lacking in specificity that it seems to have been one step too far for the anti-DOL rule lobby. What we mean is that the rule was so poorly received, and so poorly defended by the SEC, that it can be seen as responsible for the big surge in state-level fiduciary rules that are cropping up across the nation.


FINSUM: The interesting part about this is that the SEC’s new rule, which was supposed to be the sensible solution between demands for a fiduciary standard and industry practicality, has completely undermined its own interests. The rule seems to have been so one-sided and poorly marketed, that it has only emboldened fiduciary advocates and “left them no choice”.

Published in Wealth Management

(Washington)

The fiduciary topic has mildly faded into the background in the media lately. The reason why is that the SEC and DOL are both in major revision/redrafting mode, with new versions expected to be released later this year. No one is sure how those will play out, but the most likely case right now appears bleak for advisors and the industry—a broad and relatively mild SEC best interest standard undergirded by much stronger and strict state-level fiduciary rules. That vision may be terrifying to some as it would create a complicated, and likely contradictory patchwork of state and federal rules, making inter-state business more difficult.


FINSUM: Patchwork from hell?

Published in Wealth Management
Tuesday, 27 November 2018 12:03

The Fiduciary Rule is Slowly Taking Over

(Washington)

The Fiduciary Rule is supposed to be dead, right? Well that seems to be more of a myth than reality, as the rule has taken on a life of its own in many forms. Not only is the DOL planning to issue a second version of the rule in 2019, but many states are now creating out their own fiduciary rules. For instance, New Jersey is poised to become one of the first states to adopt a uniform fiduciary standard. Many others already have various fiduciary standards that were put in place after the demise of the first rule. Those that have or are considering changes incude Nevada, Connecticut, California, South Carolina, and South Dakota.


FINSUM: There is a definitely a strong fiduciary undercurrent slowly pushing across the country. However, some states have definitively ruled that a fiduciary relationship does not exist between a client and broker, including New York.

Published in Wealth Management
Wednesday, 14 November 2018 10:58

How the Democrats Could Block the SEC Rule

(Washington)

One of the big concerns advisors should have right now is how the newly Democratic House might affect fiduciary regulation. Most will be aware that the SEC Best Interest rule was much lighter touch than the first version of the DOL rule. However, on top of the DOL rule making a return in 2019, the SEC could be derailed by the House. Maxine Walters, a staunch fiduciary advocate, will now head the House Financial Services Committee and it seems liklye the House will call SEC head Jay Clayton in for a questioning session where they press him to add a fiduciary element to the current Best Interest rule.


FINSUM: The exact path to derailing the SEC rule is still a little unclear. Because Trump has already appointed the heads of the relevant agencies, the House has an unclear ability to get in the way.

Published in Wealth Management
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