Last week, TD Ameritrade held its annual elite advisor conference outside of Albuquerque. As you might suspect, we don’t get a lot of conferences for independent advisors out here in New Mexico, so I felt compelled to cowboy up and drive the 50 miles down to the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort in Santa Ana Pueblo.
I’m glad I did. I always enjoy spending time with financial advisors; hearing about what they are doing and what they think about the current goings on in the financial world.
I also got to sit down with TD Ameritrade Institutional President Tom Nally, who was very generous with his time, as we talked about a range of current topics. One of them was TD Ameritrade’s active support for a fiduciary standard for financial advisors, including its sponsorship of the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard’s “Fiduciary September.”
“Regardless of what happens with the DOL’s new rule, the public’s awareness of the advisory fiduciary standard has definitely been raised,” Nally told me. “Both our call centers and our affiliated advisors are seeing a dramatic increase in new and existing clients asking about a fiduciary duty.”
Earlier this week, the CFP Board (which TD Ameritrade sponsors) sent out a press release—“CFP Board to Release Draft of Proposed Changes to Standards of Professional Conduct on June 20, 2017.”
In what is possibly the shortest press release in history, the board said: “Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. today announced that it will release a draft of proposed changes to its Standards of Professional Conduct on June 20, 2017. CFP Board will accept written comments and hold a series of public forums.”
Short and sweet. Yet, a skeptical mind might wonder if the board’s uncharacteristic brevity might be an attempt to downplay the stakes involved in these changes.
As I wrote in my May 10 blog (Crunch Time: New Standards Will Define the Future of CFPs), there’s a lot more riding on these changes than simply a few minor revisions: “A skeptical mind might conclude that [these ambiguities] (which befuddle even professionals) might in fact be meant to confuse financial planning clients as well.”