Wealth Management

(Washington)

None other than Eugene Scalia, son of former Supreme Court justice Anton Scalia, has now written a formal letter asking that the courts expedite their ruling on the fiduciary rule. Scalia says that Massachusetts’ new attack on Scottrade is a sign that the rule needs to be settled once and for all, as having it half-implemented means heightened legal risk. The wealth management industry has been waiting several months for a final decision on a fiduciary rule case in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Scalia called for urgency, saying “The action also shows that the fiduciary rule is exacerbating the risk of litigation, even absent 'best-interest contracts”.


FINSUM: There is absolutely no point to having a half-implemented rule. The government (courts included) either needs to fully implement a rule, or get rid of the concept entirely, because the half-in nature of today’s arrangement if not beneficial for anyone.

(New York)

Many advisors still dismiss green investment, and do so for a number of reasons. Some of these include the asset class as having lower returns, or just being a “niche” interest that is too small of a market. While the perception on returns has already been readily proven to be a fallacy, there is another area where green investment could help clients—in a downturn. Recent evidence from the US downturn showed that green funds tended to perform much better than the market overall during the selloff, suggesting that the underlying securities are more resistant to losses than their conventional share counterparts.


FINSUM: This is hardly a mountain of evidence, but it is certainly suggestive of a potential benefit for green shares.

(Washington)

In what will surely go down as a landmark case, the state of Massachusetts is going after Scottrade in the first prosecution of misconduct under the fiduciary rule. Massachusetts says the broker held sales contests for its reps, before the acquisition by TD Ameritrade in September, which violated fiduciary standards. The state said about the prosecution that “If the Department of Labor will not enforce its own laws and rules, then the states must do what they can to protect retirees from firms who believe they can play with peoples’ life savings by conducting sophomoric contests”.


FINSUM: The developing role of states in both creating and enforcing the fiduciary rule/s is quite interesting. We are afraid the leadership vacuum currently surrounding the federal law might lead to a patchwork nightmare.

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