When first learning to reading, my son would often read aloud restaurant signs through the car window that proclaimed, “World’s Best Fried Chicken!” or “Best Chocolate Ice Cream in Vermont!” When he was old enough for some level of critical thinking and those claims sunk in as audacious, he would ask, “Says who?” I was reminded of that recently when the Securities and Exchange Commission (the other SEC) issued new regulations that attempt to raise the level of conduct of Stock Brokers. The new rule allows brokers to claim they are acting in clients’ “best interests” – a level up from the current “advice that is suitable” standard. But, “Says who?” As it turns out, if the brokers say so.
Now, I’m guessing eyes started glazing when I mentioned the word regulation but, hang with me, here’s why you should care:
- If you already work with a Registered Investment Adviser, like Moneywatch, then the SEC already requires us to act in your best interest. And that should matter to you.
- If you work with another type of provider, however, or are shopping for financial advice, you should know not every firm or adviser adheres to that same standard.