You deserve to be properly represented in the financial overhaul bill by the representatives you elected. Unfortunately critical thinking and your interests are lost on this Congress, as they recklessly govern with a false mandate that you and me want more and more regulation. Does arguing in the hallway of the Dirksen Senate Office Building near midnight, like they did last night trying to resolve differences, give you any confidence in your elected officials’ ability to think calmly? As Congress is about to impose the biggest overhaul of the financial system since the 1930’s, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas) accurately points out that there are probably three unintended consequences for every page of this 2,000-page bill.
In just one of the many examples of how Congress makes rules for special interests, and ignores what’s best for those who elected them, is with investment advice and how it will be treated when the new bill passes. I’ve talked to you about how investment advisers are held to a higher fiduciary standard while broker dealers are held to a lower suitability standard. The new bill will permit, but not require, the SEC to hold broker dealers to a fiduciary standard–“not require” being the keys words here. This means once again there’s not much change in an area that really could benefit individual investors. This is a huge win for brokers because it allows them to continue with a business-as-usual mentality by selling investors products that meet a “suitability” standard and not the more appropriate and rigorous “fiduciary” standard.