Although many registered investment advisors are cautious about selling an advisor class of shares with a 12b-1 fee attached to a no-load fund because it poses a potential conflict of interest, no-load firms are having some success selling the class to registered advisors, according to industry executives.

"If you have a fiduciary duty to your clients, you have to keep business practices to reflect that idea," said Paula Hogan, ethics director for the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors of New York. "If you get paid by a fund company to move that product, there is a potential conflict of interest ... if you get added money for how much product you sell, there is a dual loyalty there and in a fee-only scenario, you work only for the client."

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