Leveling the playing field for ethical financial advisors
Not all financial advisors act contrary to their clients’ interests. Some already apply a fiduciary standard, to earn their clients’ trust, even though the law does not yet require them to do it. Truly ethical advisors tend to want the Obama rule to go into effect in April as planned, because the removal of unscrupulous competitors is good for their business. It is like an auto dealer who favors the laws preventing salesmen from turning back the odometer on a used car, because he would not do that anyway but knows that some others are not as ethical. How foolish it would be to oppose such laws because they “deprive consumers of their free choice” to buy a used car under fraudulent terms!
It is in the interest of ordinary Americans for the fiduciary rule to go into effect in April as planned. And for the Trump Administration to keep its hands off of other Obama financial reforms as well.
[This is an extended version of a column published Feb. 21 at Project Syndicate. Comments can be posted there.]