Wealth Management

(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”.

(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?

(Washington)

Don’t be fooled by the relative calm and quiet surrounding the fiduciary rule space. While the SEC’s BI Rule is being assessed, fiduciary rules are continuing to pop up at the state level all over the country. Nevada and Maryland are now pushing forward state fiduciary rules. They argue that in the absence of a federal rue, it is states’ job to step in and protect residents. The pair of states join many others doing the same, including New Jersey and New York.


FINSUM: You don’t see Nevada and Maryland put on the same list for almost anything! But that is a testament to how widespread this state-based push for fiduciary rules is.

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