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Rekenthaler Report

How Financial Advice Should Work

Two tiers of advisor, sorted by education (rather than ethics).

1,000 Pages
Last month, the SEC released new rules for governing financial advice, in a document artfully entitled, “SEC Proposes to Enhance Protections and Improve Choice for Retail Investors in Their Relationships With Financial Advisors.” (The next 1,000 pages read similarly.) The SEC’s report follows a similar proposal from the Department of Labor, about which I have written in the past.

This time, I will abstain. Even as fiduciary recommendations go, the SEC’s new report is difficult to parse--to the point where even the agency’s commissioners disagree. One, Kara Stein, voted against the proposal, labeling it as “Regulation Status Quo.” A second, Hester Peirce, supported the proposal but stated that it was misnamed. The new standard should not be termed Regulation Best Interest, she said, but instead “Suitability Plus.”