Of the many industry critiques of the Department of Labor's fiduciary proposal, one of the most oft-repeated is the assertion that new regulations would cut off access to advice for low- and middle income investors -- precisely the segment of consumers the initiative aims to protect.

The Labor Department, which has drafted rules that would impose fiduciary responsibilities on advisors working with retirement investors and codify a best-interest standard of advice, is holding a series of hearings on the issue through Thursday.

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