Wealth Management

(Washington)

Brokers around the country had a very positive reaction to the new version of the SEC’s Best Interest Rule which was approved last week. One of the reasons why, other than the generally light-touch direction of the regulation, is that the new rule seems to suggest that a broker can always be confident in putting money into an IRA when considering a rollover. However, the SEC has just warned brokers against this quick conclusion, saying they cannot short-circuit their analysis.


FINSUM: The way the new rule was structured seemed almost too good to be true for advisors as it appeared to heavily favor rollovers into IRAs. More analysis of the rule will be forthcoming over the next week.

(Washington)

It happened quickly, more quickly than almost anyone expected. The SEC redrafted its “Regulation best Interest” rule and put it to a vote yesterday, with the new version being approved by a 3-1 vote. The new version is a fairly large departure from the previous one, and went in the complete opposite direction versus expectations. Instead of tightening the rule to put more fiduciary duties on brokers, it did the opposite, eliminating language regarding best interests and seemingly watering down the current suitability standard itself. The vote against the rule came from the SEC’s only Democrat, who said “Rather than requiring Wall Street to put investors first, today's rules retain a muddled standard that exposes millions of Americans to the costs of conflicted advice. Even worse, contrary to what Americans have heard for a generation, the commission today concludes that investment advisors are not true fiduciaries. Today's actions fail to arm Americans with the tools they need to survive the nation's retirement crisis.”.


FINSUM: In addition to the changes mentioned above, it is also worth noting that the new rule significantly expanded the language regarding “solely incidental”, meaning many more brokers do not fall under the rule’s purview. Now it remains to be seen what the DOL does.

(New York)

Independent or wirehouse? It is a big decision, especially because it not only means moving firms, but going from being an employee to running one’s own business. Well, to fill the void between those two possibilities, LPL has just launched a new program designed to let advisors half-breakaway. The program lets advisors be independent, but also employees. The new new offering is short on details but follows in the footsteps of Raymond James and Wells Fargo, both of whom have similar opportunities.


FINSUM: This seems like a good option if you are an advisor that wants more flexibility, but does not want the difficulty associated with running your own firm.

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