When people turn to financial professionals for investment advice, they expect and deserve advice that serves their best interests. Unfortunately, current rules under both our securities laws and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) allow financial firms to profit at their customers’ expense when providing services investors reasonably rely on as objective advice.
Both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Labor (DOL) have a role to play in fixing that problem. The SEC is responsible for eliminating the double-standard that has enabled broker-dealers to offer investment advice about securities without having to meet the fiduciary standard appropriate to a relationship of trust. The DOL is responsible for eliminating loopholes in ERISA regulations that have enabled brokers, insurance agents, and others to offer self-interested advice to retirement plans, plan participants and Individual Retirement Account (IRA) investors.