Ted Knutson of Financial Advisor reports that several consumer advocates have forcefully criticized SEC Chair Mary Jo White for slow and weak investor protection rulemaking, including the Commission’s failure to adopt a uniform fiduciary standard.
Excerpt– Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White was attacked for slow and weak investor protection rulemaking by several consumer advocates in e-mails and conversations with Financial Advisor magazine.
“Investor protection under Chair White has been virtually nonexistent. Her positions in the crowdfunding and private offering rulemakings and her false promises regarding the fiduciary duty reflect a strong anti-investor bent,” said SEC Investor Advisory Committee member and University of Mississippi Law Professor Mercer Bullard on Tuesday.
Mark Schoeff of Investment News reports that the spending bill passed by the House of Representatives on June 16 raises the SEC’s budget by $50 million, but is $300 million less than the SEC needs to strengthen investment adviser oversight. Efforts by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) to attach an amendment allowing the SEC to charge user fees to make up for this budget shortfall were unsuccessful. The bill also includes an amendment barring the SEC from imposing a fiduciary standard on broker-dealers during the federal fiscal year beginning October 1.
Excerpt– The House of Representatives approved a spending bill Wednesday that denies the Securities and Exchange Commission the funding it says it needs to strengthen investment adviser oversight.
In a 228-195 vote, the House passed a $21.3 billion appropriations bill that funds the SEC, Treasury Department and many other agencies. The measure gives the SEC a $50 million budget increase, about $300 million less than the agency requested. Under the bill, the SEC would operate on a $1.4 billion budget in fiscal 2015, which begins on Oct. 1.
Mark Schoeff of InvestmentNews reports that SEC official wants registered investment advisers to be forced to hire third-party contractors to conduct examinations, increasing the oversight of advisers.
Excerpt: Securities and Exchange Commission member Daniel Gallagher wants registered investment advisers to be forced to hire third-party contractors to conduct examinations.
In remarks at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.’s annual conference in Washington, Mr. Gallagher recommended that the SEC write a regulation that would require advisers to hire an examiner to review their operations.
Ted Knutson of Financial Advisor reports that the SEC is not providing investors with “sufficient protection” against dishonest advisors because of budget shortfalls.
Excerpt: The Securities and Exchange Commission is not providing investors with “sufficient protection” against dishonest advisors because of budget shortfalls, SEC Chairman Mary Jo White told Congress today.
Noting that the SEC only has 19 examiners per trillion dollars in investment advisor assets under management, White appealed for money to hire 250 advisor examiners. The examiners are needed for better oversight of advisors, whom she said consumers are increasingly relying upon to deal with securities markets and retirement planning.
Lisa Hay, CPA, president and founder of Ascend Financial, LLC, shares the benefits of fiduciary financial advice and the most accurate way to tell if the adviser you are considering is acting in your best interest.
Excerpt: Many consumers are beginning to realize the benefit of fee-only fiduciary financial advice, but they don’t know how to tell if the adviser they are considering is actually fee-only. If you are smart enough to realize that working with a fiduciary is very important, and that how your adviser is compensated matters, read on.
Ron Rhoades of The Scholarly Financial Planner discusses the signs of an implemented fiduciary culture throughout a firm.
Excerpt: Twice a semester I take a group of students in a 15-passenger van on visits to local financial services firms. My financial planning program (undergraduate) students benefit from exposure to different practice models, learn about “day-in-the-life” of a financial advisor, and some even make connections leading to future internships or jobs. They obtain a real picture of the environments they may join, and upon their return most become more committed to their studies and to joining this emerging profession.