Speeding up software launches, printing educational materials and hiring new staff: These are just a few measures brokerage firms are taking — quickly — to ready themselves to implement the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule.

"Now we are in a real focused escalation time where we are giving advisers specific directions on what they can do to prepare," says Andrew Crowell, vice chairman of D.A. Davidson's Individual Investor Group. "Post Labor Day, we will be providing them with firm-based and third party solutions."

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