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Commentary

How the SEC's Regulation Best Interest Proposal Could Be Better

The proposed Regulation Best Interest rule could prove to be quite strong and maintain momentum toward best interest advice, but there are some areas that still need work.

Last spring the SEC proposed a Regulation Best Interest rule that would raise standards of conduct for broker/dealers when they sell investments to ordinary investors. We have had a few months to digest the 1,000 pages of material the commission put out and formulate our response. In a nutshell: We think the rule could prove to be quite strong and maintain momentum toward best interest advice, but it could be even better.

While the SEC proposal incorporates some of the positive aspects of the now defunct fiduciary rule proposed by the Department of Labor in 2010, we think it could go even further to help consumers understand how much they're paying for financial advice and the conflicts of interest their advisors may be facing.

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