May 1, 2011

Politics and Process: SEC and the Fiduciary Study—Slideshow

AdvisorOne Wealth Editor in Chief Kathleen McBride examines the SEC's fiduciary study

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • The Custody Rule and its Ramifications When an RIA takes custody of a client’s funds or securities, risk to that individual increases dramatically. Rule 206(4)-2 under the Investment Advisers Act (better known as the Custody Rule), was passed to protect clients from unscrupulous investors.
  • Conducting Due Diligence of Sub-Advisors and Third-Party Advisors Engaging in due-diligence of sub-advisors isn’t just a recommended best practice— it is part of the fiduciary obligation to a client. An RIA should be extremely reluctant to enter a relationship with a sub-advisor who claims the firm’s strategy is proprietary.

AdvisorOne Wealth Editor in Chief Kathleen McBride has closely followed the Securities and Exchange Commission's study on whether to extend a fiduciary standard to all advice givers in her series, SEC and the Fiduciary Study.

Extending the standard beyond RIAs could signal a seismic shift in how advice is provided to investors, changing the way brokers and investment advisors conduct their businesses, and what protections the SEC is willing to institute for investors. Not since the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 has there been more potential for re-drawing the rules that govern conduct of brokers and investment advisors toward customers and clients.

Click through for more on the long road to resolution over whether and how the fiduciary standard should be applied.

SEC and the Fiduciary Study: The Process

In late January, the SEC delivered to Congress its six-month report, “Study Regarding Obligations of Brokers, Dealers, and Investment Advisers,” mandated in the Dodd-Frank Act. The report is the next step in the long debate over whether the fiduciary standard should apply to all who provide investment and financial advice to individual investors.

Read Part 1 of the SEC and the Fiduciary Study series.

SEC and the Fiduciary Study: Politics and the Fiduciary Standard

On Jan. 22, the staff of the SEC delivered to Congress a report called the “Study on Investment Advisors and Broker-Dealers” that was mandated under Section 913 of 2010’s Dodd-Frank financial services reform law. The report is the most significant, if not final, step in the long debate over whether the fiduciary standard should apply to all who provide investment and financial advice to individual investors.

Read Part 2 of the SEC and the Fiduciary Study series.

 Where Do We Go From Here?SEC and the Fiduciary Study: Where Do We Go From Here?

The SEC’s Study on Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers has by now been digested by the legions of followers of both sides of the debate on extending the fiduciary standard to brokers who provide advice. It seems that now the debate is not about whether to extend, but rather how to extend fiduciary duty to all who advise individuals.

Read Part 3 of the SEC and the Fiduciary Study series.

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