Are you as tired as I am of hearing the repeated lobbyist mantra that there’s no difference between the fiduciary standard and the suitability standard? At issue is the blatant attempt to reframe the argument from a legal client-centric matter to a mere marketing war between two competing — and, it is implied, equal — business models. The already jaded consumer can only conclude the whole thing is nothing more than Madison Avenue sloganeering and gimmickry.
Taste great? Less filling? What does it matter?
And with that, the lobbyists win.
Now, here’s the real challenge for fiduciary aficionados: The big firms backing the lobbyists have all the money. So if the war is going to be waged in Washington or on the air waves, guess who wins? Like the Redcoats in the American Revolution, these folks are wealthy, well-armed and well organized. But that doesn’t mean a small, independent band of rebels can’t win in the end. All it requires is taking the battle to a new arena, an arena where ideas trump money, facts beat advertising and logic overwhelms organization. And all this happens while the independent media reports it with fervor.