Against a fiduciary standard?

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Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

The Dodd-Frank Act empowered the SEC to impose a uniform fiduciary standard on all financial service professionals. But some key groups don’t care about increased investor protections — most notably investors themselves.

I’m Sheyna Steiner with the personal finance minute.

Now, stock brokers are held to a suitability standard. That means that they must only recommend products that are in line with their clients’ goals, time frame, income and experience. A fiduciary standard would mandate that brokers can only sell products that are in their clients best interest and they would need to disclose the commissions they receive for recommending certain products.

Studies have shown that investors have no idea which financial services professionals have a fiduciary duty to them and which financial pros have no professional obligation to serve the best interests of the client. One recent survey highlighted that confusion — 57 percent of investors said a fiduciary standard would increase their comfort, 42 percent said it would decrease their comfort.

All they want apparently is for their broker to return their phone calls.

For more on this and other personal finance issues, visit I’m Sheyna Steiner.