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Portfolio > Asset Managers

Americans want government to regulate advisors

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More than 8 in 10 Americans believe the federal government should regulate financial advisors, new research shows.

The Financial Planning Coalition, Washington, discloses this finding in a survey of 1,030 American men and women, ages 18 and older. More than 6 in 10 have less than $250,000 in investable assets; the balance have no investable assets (27 percent) or $250,000-plus in investable assets.

The report reveals that 84 percent of Americans agree with the statement that the federal government should regulate advisors to protect investors and build consumer confidence. The sentiment is greater among individuals with “low investable assets” (less than $250,000).

Similarly large majorities of the polled also agree that advisors should put the client’s interest ahead of their own (93 percent) and that current laws do not do enough to prevent advisors from taking advantage of consumers.

Two-thirds of the survey respondents (67 percent) “strongly agree” with the statement that advisors should tell the client early in the engagement about conflicts of interest that could influence their advice. The largest proportion of respondents who strongly agree are those with high (more than $250,000) investable assets (87 percent).

Individuals with high investable assets, the report adds, also constitute the largest percentage of survey respondents who advocate disclosure of potential conflicts of interest (98 percent).

However, individuals with low investable assets (less than $250,000) make up the largest share of respondents who say that:

Financial advisors should be regulated by the federal government to protect investments and build consumer confidence in financial services (86 percent);

current laws do not do enough to prevent advisors from taking advantage of consumers.


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