What if Brokers Had to Call Themselves Brokers?

From “Financial Advisor IQ”

Brokers have run away from their long-held designations and now call themselves “financial advisors” or given impressive sounding titles such as “Vice President – Investments” by the Big Box stores.  But most of them are salesmen for their firm’s products who sell on commission.

There is a difference between sales people and fiduciaries, a difference the few people who use brokers or financial advisors understand.  And there’s a reason.

He [Bob Veres] characterizes the debate over the fiduciary standard as a single skirmish in “a long war between professionals and sales agents.” The latter — Veres’ term for brokers who work at wirehouses and big broker-dealers — won’t rest until they “emasculate” the legal framework that currently separates them from fiduciaries. “Tossing millions of dollars into congressional campaign coffers,” the brokerage industry wants regulators to dilute the fiduciary standard until it looks just like the suitability standard, he says.

I have lots of friends in the investment community, many who work for the big big names on Wall Street.  Many are good people who try to do their best for their clients.  But they are not fiduciaries; that is, people who are legally obligated to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own.  And that makes a big difference.

If you want to know more about the difference between brokers and fiduciaries, please contact us.

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