By James Pilant via southwerk.com Article
“The feds want to change the standards for advising customers in the personal financial advising industry. Olen explains it in more detail but the story is pretty straightforward. Most in the personal finance industry do not have to adhere to the fiduciary standard, that is, to act as your agent by fully informing you of your choices. They live by the suitability standard, a less stringent standard, which means they can advise you to do things that bring them extra profit while concealing from you information that might lead you to make a different decision.
The critical issue here is rollovers. Your adviser desperately wants you to take you money and move it into something else (like an IRA) where he can collect fees and be rewarded by his friends in the financial industry. One of the things, the adviser isn’t telling you is how much he makes from advising you to make these kinds of decisions.
So, here is the fight in Congress in a nutshell. The personal financial advising industry says if they have to tell the truth this could cost many millions of dollars and some could go out of business. They want Congress to protect them from the crazies in the Labor Department and the Obama Administration who have this bizarre fetish for the ‘truth.’ …
So, some in Congress are lining up with the financial industry to preserve the right of non-disclosure to the clients. Think of it like cigarettes. It must have pretty unfair in the minds of tobacco companies to have to tell people their product was dangerous. They must have been furious. And it is just the same in the personal finance. Can you feel the rage? – ‘Why should I have to tell some old couple that I’m advising them to make me money and them more financially insecure. I mean, hell, they’re adults right. We don’t need the government sticking its nose into our business and acting like truth telling is important. What are these people? Twelve? This isn’t grade school. We’re adults now. If I can convince them to give me money, I should get the money. The government should mind its own business.'”