Sometimes I think it helps to step back, consider the bigger picture and achieve clarity about what we really want for our profession. With that in mind, I want to share some of my own hopes. You may laugh at these, but I read somewhere that nothing good happens until it is first articulated.
First, I'd like the SEC to stop obsessing over the term "fiduciary" and develop regulatory oversight that intensifies scrutiny for each conflict of interest that a company embraces in routine dealings with consumers. Companies that self-custody, or whose brokers recommend in-house investment options, or make corporate investments in direct competition with their customers, would have every recommendation and client communication scrutinized and evaluated by an alert and skeptical regulator. Advisors who take commissions would undergo regular reviews to make sure their customers understand the sales agenda.
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