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锘? The hottest debate in the financial services industry is which standard should be adopted when dealing with clients and their finances the fiduciary standard Sammy Sosa Jersey , the suitability standard or some hybrid of both. Everyone from the White House to every oversight organization, every financial magazine, newspaper and every financial advisor or industry expert, famous and not so famous, have expressed their opinion on this passionate subject. Ironically, the only groups we havent heard from are the big brokerdealers.
Now this Investment Advisor is throwing his hat into the ring, offering his opinion from a philosophicalmoral point of view. The industry is at a crossroads; do we have the ethical fortitude to treat our clients with the same high regard that other industries do?
Lets review; The Fiduciary Standard requires that the advisor put their clients interests ahead of their own Mark Grace Jersey , their firm, commission, or product. An RIA or Registered Investment Advisor must follow this standard the Trust standard, the highest known in law, and fulfill critical fiduciary duties of trust and confidence and must provide its best advice.
In contrast, The Suitability Standard does not require a Financial Advisor to place the interests of its clients ahead of its own, their firm Ernie Banks Jersey , commission or product. This is commonly known as a sales oriented or non fiduciary Financial Advisor. Even if a non fiduciary Financial Advisor wanted to follow the trust standard and become a fiduciary to its clients, it cannot do so because of the contract it has with the BrokerDealer. Such contracts require the Financial Advisor to place the interests of the BrokerDealer before the interest of the client. In other words, if a client qualifies for an investment, the Financial Advisor can sell it to them while ignoring the Know your client rule. This means that a Financial Advisor can make recommendations and sell products based on which ones pay the highest commission.
Unfortunately, most clients and the public at large dont have a clue that standards exist, let alone the difference between a Fiduciary Standard and a Suitability Standard.
In the medical profession, the Hippocratic Oath is taken by doctors Ron Santo Jersey , swearing them to ethical practices of medicine. Most people know that doctors are held to a higher standard, so why shouldnt Financial Advisors be held to a higher standard that the public is well aware of. Would you accept a doctor to take care of your health who had a lesser standard? Of course not, so why would you accept a Financial Advisor with a lesser standard to take care of your financial health? Most people in their right mind wouldnt, but as I previously stated most people just arent aware or informed that there is a dual standard in our industry.
I believe that to solve this problem the industry has to first start changing the way it hires its financial advisors. Can anybody be a doctor? Of course not, if it was easy everybody would do it. So should be the same with the way Financial Advisors are hired and trained. The norm today among the large brokerdealers is to hire a lot of advisors, get them to pass their licenses, provide basic training Andre Dawson Jersey , and then make them essentially sales peopleorder takers to bring in the required amount of AUM in the stated amount of time. Dont worry about investing the clients money, we have experts who will take care of that. Not that there is anything wrong with delegating those duties, but you still have to know how to manage the money managers if your not doing it yourself. A football coach manages his players and knows when one of them is underperforming he is ready to pull him out and send in another replacement.
Heres what we can do start by hiring fewer new Advisors. Next, in addition to the licenses currently required, introduce a new FiduciaryEthical license thats a requirement not only in the financial services industry, but in other industries as well such as; mortgage lending, banking Kosuke Fukudome Jersey , real estate, insurance, etc. Spend more money on intensifying the training including how to manage money. Then place them with a seasoned Advisor or team to mentor them. Finally, they all should be Fiduciaries. Anything less is a disgrace to our industry and our clients.
Even now the Fiduciary Standard is not much defined beyond your best interest will come first. Even if you claim to be a Fiduciary in name, you have to actually perform like a functional fiduciary. We need high standards, not watered down ones. We need to be the stewards of our clients money, and we need to be transparent Cubs Anthony Rizzo Jersey , driven by a code of ethics and principles and a standard of professional conduct that makes us accountable.
Whether your fee based or commissioned, selling one product line or many, you still can be a fiduciary to your client.
Just for a moment imagine if all the people who were involved in selling mortgages during the real estate boom had took the time to know their client, explained the pitfalls of the mortgage they were seeking and had held their lending requirements high, they would have made fewer sales, but they may have helped avoid or dampened the housing collapse.
With the spotlight on the financial industry right now, we have an opportunity to show the public we are capable of doing the right thing.