Barron’s: A Uniform Standard of Care

John G. Taft, CEO of RBC Wealth Management U.S., discusses the need to extend a uniform fiduciary standard of care across the financial planning profession.

Excerpt: There is a regulatory reform that will enable the wealth-management industry to better serve the investing public. It is a simple way to ensure that individual consumers of financial advice receive the same high level of regulatory protection — no matter which firm they walk into, which advisor they work with, what kind of advice they receive, or how they pay for it, and without compromising their access to products or services or otherwise limiting their investing choices.

The time has come for all investment professionals offering wealth-management advice to individual investors to be subject to the same standard of conduct. That’s not just a good idea, it’s the law, according to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. It gave the Securities and Exchange Commission the power to impose a fiduciary standard of conduct on all wealth managers offering “personalized investment advice” to individual clients. One consistent standard for advice. One set of rules for all advisors.

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