At 91%, the overwhelming majority of retail investors support a fiduciary standard for all financial advisers, according to a survey of 1,319 investors by Infogroup/ORC.

The survey indicates that there is some surprise among investors—seventy-six percent, to be exact—that their financial advisers aren’t, strictly speaking, acting in their best interests now as fiduciaries.

Some 97% of investors agree with the statement (and 85% strongly agrees) that “when you receive investment advice from a financial professional, the person providing the advice should put your interests ahead of theirs and should have to tell you upfront about any fees or commissions they earn and any conflicts of interest that potentially could influence that  advice.”

Rather than carve out exceptions for certain types of investment salespeople, as groups representing broker-dealers tend to argue for (see “Adviser Groups Spar Over Fiduciary Solution”, 96% of investors say everyone selling investments, including insurance agents selling annuities, should be held to a fiduciary standard.

Speaking at a press conference, Mary Wallace, senior legislative representative for AARP in Washington, laid out the finding in no uncertain terms. :Some in the securities and insurance industries would have you believe that the issues being discussed today about the appropriate regulatory standard for investment advisers and brokers is complicated and needs more study,” she says. “But, from the investor perspective, it actually is quite simple: Every financial professional who offers investment advice should be held to a fiduciary standard when they offer that advice.”

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