Google the phrase, “When are we going to get there?” and the message in Jason Zweig’s weekend column stares you in the face. Or at least the search results do. All 1.29 billion — yes, billion — of them. (This compares to 312 million search results for the name, “George Washington.”)
In his weekend column, Zweig surveys the landscape on fiduciary regulations and firm adherence. He finds it lacking and concludes fiduciary is “far from universal and in some ways in retreat.” He includes (with the status of the DOL fiduciary rule) the CFP Board’s proposed standards in his purview.
For example, under the proposed standards, CFPs would be required to disclose and manage conflicts. Regardless, some brokerage firms whose brokers are CFPs seem to be bucking the CFP Board, Zweig notes, and publicly warning that they may ignore the standards.
One such firm may be UBS. CFP Tami Aloisa notes in her comment on the proposed standards, “I am wondering how I and a couple thousand CFPs at UBS would potentially be impacted in light of the language in our June statement stuffers.”
The language Aloisa references includes acknowledgement from UBS that “some of our financial advisors” are CFPs. However, and critically, according to UBS, “A financial advisor’s professional designation does not change the obligation of UBS or the financial advisor to you in providing investment advisory or brokerage services to you.”
UBS’s position could not be much more concrete and clear. Zweig’s conclusion: “Until regulators and trade groups sort this out — and the next total solar eclipse may come first — the burden of finding someone who will act in your best interest is on you.”
In finance, we have the widely known Volcker and Bogle Rules, named for the former chair of the Federal Reserve Board and the founder of Vanguard, respectively. Now we may have the Zweig Rule.