With Sen. Dodd set to introduce a long-awaited proposal to overhaul how the financial services industry does business with the public, you might want to sit up and pay attention. SEC Chair Mary Schapiro seems to indicate in speeches that she favors one, "harmonized" regulatory system, in which every financial service pro is a fiduciary. That scares some people.
The concept of putting your client first, as the fiduciary standard states, why, everyone agrees with that. (Suitabillity is seen as a lessor standard of care, in which an advisor could, theoretically, offer a mutual fund that pays him more but is otherwise suitable for the client.) But just what is a fiduciary? That's the issue. Here is the criticism launched by some insurance agents that may make registered reps take notice.