Articles Tagged with Wall Street

shutterstock_93231562In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, the Dodd-Frank legislation authorized the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to pass a fiduciary duty rule that would apply to brokers, as opposed to only financial advisors. Most investors do not realize and are usually shocked to learn that there broker only has an obligation to recommend “suitable” investments, and not to work in their client’s best interests. Currently, the fiduciary duty rule only applies to financial advisors (and brokers under certain circumstances) – more commonly recognized by the public as advisors who charge a flat fee for their services as opposed to commissions.

The fact that the investing public has absolutely no clue how crucial the fiduciary duty is to protecting their retirement futures and holding Wall Street accountable for mishaps has prevented any serious public debate to combat the millions of dollars the industry has and will spend to kill this part of the law. True to form, recently the House of Representatives passed a budget that would prevent the SEC from imposing a fiduciary standard on brokers during the upcoming federal fiscal year beginning in October.

What’s the big deal you may ask? Why is the fiduciary standard important to me? Well there are many reasons but maybe one story will highlight how the brokerage industry is currently allowed to operate to put their interests ahead of their clients. As recently reported in Bloomberg and InvestmentNews, an undercover U.S. Labor Department economist exposed how brokerage firms sought out federal workers to roll over their 401(k)’s with the government to IRAs with the brokerage firm even though the result could increase the client’s annual costs by as much as 50 times!

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