One vital aspect of the upcoming requirements to act in the best interests of a client is to know when an advisor actually has a fiduciary obligation. A notable distinction of the rules is that their applicability is based on whether advice is provided to a retirement investor, not based on what type of product it is.
Historically, while the sale of securities products was regulated by FINRA, the sale of insurance products was subject to state insurance regulators and investment advice was regulated by the SEC and/or state securities regulators, the Department of Labor fiduciary rules cut across all of these product silos for retirement accounts.
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