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.
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.
In the Chicago Tribune, Gail Marks Jarvis stresses the need for investors to ensure that their financial planner is held to ethical standards and provides financial planning services pursuant to a fiduciary standard of care.
Excerpt: It’s a typical reaction: You don’t think you have the slightest idea how to invest your money for your future, so you figure you’ll go to an expert and get it right.
The trouble is that the investment business is full of conflicts of interest. And naive individuals, who go blindly for help, often end up getting dinged in the process. The more you need help, the more chance you will get taken.