From the October 2010 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

About Those Other SEC Studies ...

Sidebar to "Dissecting the FSI's Position on Fiduciary"

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Trading Practices and Errors When SEC-registered investment advisors conduct annual audits of firm policies and procedures, they should pay close attention to trading practices.  Though usually not required to, state-registered advisors should look at their trading practices and revise policies that do not fully protect clients.
  • Suitability and Fiduciary Duty Recommending suitable investments is more than just a regulatory obligation.  Many investors bring cases claiming lack of suitability, so RIAs must continuously put the onus on clients to notify the advisor of changes in their financial situation.  

Among the litany of studies (close to 17 of them, along with 95 rulemakings) that the SEC is charged with conducting under the Dodd-Frank Act, the advisory industry will be greatly affected by about five of them.

One of those five, the fiduciary study, is already under way with the SEC required to submit its report to Congress in January. Dodd-Frank also stipulated that the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) study of the regulation of the financial planning industry is to be submitted to Congress 180 days after the signing of Dodd-Frank into law, which means lawmakers should have the GAO study by late January.

Financial Planner Study (GAO): To examine the effectiveness of state and federal regulation of financial planners.

Study Concerning Improving Access to Registration Information for BDs and RIAs (SEC): To develop recommendations about improving investor access to registration information on BDs, RIAs, and associated persons of these entities.

Review of BD Auditors (PCAOB): To examine financial audits of broker-dealers.

Investment Adviser Examination Study (SEC): To examine whether an SRO should be designated to oversee RIAs.

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