While many broker-dealer firms and financial industry trade groups continue to oppose the fiduciary rule developed by the Obama Administration’s Labor Department, individual investors favor it.
According to a new survey from Financial Engines, the nation’s biggest 401(k) advisor, 93% of Americans want financial advisors who provide retirement advice to put their client’s best interests first and be legally required to do so. Slightly more than 50% erroneously believe that this legal requirement already exists.
“Many financial firms and advisors parse their words carefully to give the appearance of being a fiduciary, even when they are not,” said Christopher Jones, chief investment officer at Financial Engines, in a statement.
(Related on ThinkAdvisor: Even Fiduciary Champions Push DOL to Change Rule)
The survey found that only half of investors who work with a financial advisor are certain their advisor is a fiduciary, while 38% don’t even know the fiduciary status of their advisor. That’s a slight improvement from last year’s survey where 41% were uncertain about whether their advisor was a fiduciary.
A bigger difference between the two surveys can be found in the support among individual investors for the fiduciary rule. Last year only 73% favored a fiduciary requirement for advisors working on retirement accounts, far less than the 93% who favor it this year.
“The bar is rising,” said Jones in his statement. “Once people understand the benefits of working with a fiduciary they want one on their side…. Consumers want to know that they can trust their financial advisors.”