Wealth Management

(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.

(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?

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