Fiduciary Standard News


  • May 31, 2014 – How to find an adviser you can trust MarketWatch personal finance columnist Robert Powell writes about a survey from the Employee Benefits Research Institute reporting on considerable distrust among workers and retirees of their professional financial adviser. Powell explores the causes and remedies to this distrust, and cites Institute president Knut Rostad on the state of distrust and a couple measures investors can take. (Full Article)
  • April 28, 2014 – Most Influential People in Financial Advice An influential media source announced its list of 25 individuals in 2014 who will most “influence the markets, how advisors invest and plan retirement for clients, and who will affect the regulatory and legislative environment in which advisors operate.The list includes, SEC Chair Mary Jo White, Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen and PIMCO founder Bill Gross. (Full Article)
  • January 27, 2014 – SEC’s Piwowar talks fiduciary, money fund reform SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar told the Chamber of Commerce on Monday, according to Investment News, that “the fiduciary duty issue is really, really, really hard” and that “even if it’s the case that more confusion does lead to worse outcomes, its not clear to me that that’s enough to justify engaging in rulemaking” on a uniform standard. Kudos to Commissioner Piwowar for his candor. His forthright remarks could not be any more unambiguous; his thinking any more clear. Advisors should consider the implications of the Commissioners remarks in terms of the best interest of investors and the fiduciary standard as we move forward. (Full Article)
  • December 13, 2013 – You Can Get Some Big Things Done When It’s Not All About You There was a lunch held last week in New York to celebrate one of the most important American business leaders of the past half-century. It started off conventionally enough: the host and four prominent speakers recounted the deeds and impact of the honoree, at some length. (Full Article)
  • December 6, 2013 – Bogle Lauded For Two ‘Idiotically Simple’ Ideas. Vanguard Fund founder John Bogle cited two “idiotically simple” ideas, simplicity and thrift, as the drivers of a revolution in the mutual fund industry causing index and ETF funds to become very popular. The idea of no-load index funds has swept the financial markets, said a number of participants at an event paying tribute to Bogle. (Full Article)
  • December 6, 2013 – Bogle Hailed as Warrior for the Common Investor. Michael Zeuner and Jim Patrick of Institute for the Fiduciary Standard remain optimistic, tying John Bogle’s ‘investor-first’ approach to the fiduciary standard. (Full Article)
  • December 5, 2013 – What Bizarro Bogle’s world might look like. At a luncheon in New York Thursday honoring John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group Inc. and investing Superman, James Grant, editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, imagined what the world would look like if a Bizarro Bogle took the place of the real Mr. Bogle. (Full Article)
  • October 8, 2013 – Fiduciary September 2013: The Institute for Fiduciary Standards was mentioned in several articles during Fiduciary September 2013. View the media coverage here.
  • August 17, 2013 – America Can’t Afford Wall Street’s Terrible Investment Advice. To date, the fiduciary debate media coverage has not gone main stream in a big way to a large consumer audience. This may be changing. On Friday TIME writer Christopher Mathews dissected the debate and concluded the industry admission that it could not serve investors if forced to act in their best interest says it all. Is Mathews right? (Institute Comments) (Full Article)
  • July 11, 2013 – Does Your Broker Make You Broker? Nationally renown personal finance expert, Terry Savage, nails Wall Street and SEC over fiduciary rule making in this article on The Huffington Post. She calls on investors to weigh in with SEC and cites the Institute’s Six Fiduciary Duties and arguments. (Full Article)
  • April 29, 2013 – Frontline: “The Retirement Gamble” offers a glimpse into the precarious state of American retirement, and a ringside seat to the battles being waged in Washington over investor protections. The major theme throughout the film is the meager retirement savings of most Americans and the impact on their retirement savings of higher fees and expenses in retirement plans. (Online Video) (Institute Comments)
  • June 11, 2013 – Leading Questions – The SEC’s request for information regarding advisor reregulation provides troubling answers. These musings were prompted by the SEC’s March 1 release requesting “data and other information […] relating to […] the standards of conduct and other obligations of broker-dealers and investment advisors.” That’s Washington-speak for yet another round of comments about how the commission might go about acting (or not) on the already much-debated Dodd-Frank mandate to create a uniform fiduciary standard for brokers and possibly “harmonize” the way both industries are regulated. (Full Article)
  • April 16, 2013 – SEC’s “Possible” Uniform Standard Could Be FINO – Fiduciary in Name Only. A paper released by the Institute today concludes: The SEC March 1 release assumptions about a possible uniform fiduciary standard and the duty of loyalty sharply restrict when fiduciary duties are applied. If these assumptions are adopted in rulemaking, fiduciary duties would effectively be removed for brokers and advisers giving investment advice to retail investors. (Institute paper) (SEC Press release) (Institute Comments)
  • March 1, 2013 – SEC Seeks Data on a “Possible” Uniform Fiduciary Standard. The SEC released a request for information to assess whether it should apply a uniform fiduciary standard to broker dealers that requires they act in the best interest of investors. Pursuant to Dodd-Frank, this standard must be “no less stringent” than the standard applicable to investment advisers. (Institute Comments)
  • February 3, 2013 – Laby: ’40 Act Enacted to separate conflicted “tipster organizations” from genuine investment advisors; Over the past several years, scholar Arthur Laby has been one of the most prolific researchers on the fiduciary duties of advisers and the meaning of the suitability standard of brokers-dealers. In his most recent law review article, Selling Advice and Creating Expectations:Why Brokers Should be Fiduciaries, (Washington Law Review: Vol. 87:707) Laby argues that a far stronger case (than the arguments currently provided) for brokers being held to a stringent fiduciary standard exists. It is, quite simply, that investors have “reasonable expectations” to receive fiduciary advice from brokers. Laby makes a timely and persuasive case that should become familiar to every securities regulator. (Full Article)
  • January 10, 2013 - SIFMA: Policy Change or Freudian Slip? SIFMA released its annual report yesterday (January 8) to tout its accomplishments in 2012. There may be one “accomplishment” it did not intend to tout — that is its new position on the fiduciary standard. In its annual report (page 4) SIFMA does not state it supports “the establishment of a uniform fiduciary standard” as it has stated for the past three years. Instead, SIFMA has removed the “F” word from its description of the standard it supports and states, it supports “a uniform standard of duty.” Policy change or Freudian slip? (SIFMA’s full document)
  • November 19, 2012 – TD Ameritrade Conference The 217 advisors from 161 RIA firms attending the TD Ameritrade Institutional regional conference in Southern California on Tuesday, October 25, heard varying views of the fiduciary standard. Previouslly, TD Ameritrade CEO Fred Tomczyk and TDAI President Tom Nally provided their views of the challenges and opportunities facing advisors.
  • August 13, 2011 – David F. Swensen, Chief Investment Officer of Yale University calls for fiduciary duty for brokers in an Op-Ed in The New York Times, August 13, 2011, “The Mutual Fund Merry-Go Round.” He writes: “the S.E.C. should hold the mutual fund industry to a “fiduciary standard,” one that puts clients’ interests first. Currently, retail brokers operate under a weaker standard. As it carries out the Dodd- Frank reform act that became law last year, the S.E.C. must insist that brokers act as fiduciaries, not merely as agents who offer “suitable” investments.”


Laby: ’40 Act Enacted to separate conflicted “tipster organizations” from genuine investment advisors;