How to Fix Our Failed Approach to Fiduciary Lobbying

Instead of focusing on the advantages fiduciary standards would provide to the profession, lobbyists who represent advisors should point to the catastrophic failures of the perverse incentives embedded in the brokerage business model.

In mid-September, I participated in a panel discussion for the Fiduciary September virtual conference, sponsored by the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard, moderated its CEO Knut Rostad. It was a distinguished panel; I was on-screen with securities/compliance attorney Brian Hamburger, longtime fiduciary RIA spokesperson Skip Schweiss, Tom Trainer of Hanover Private Client Corp. in Canada, and Steven Lee, Ph.D., of George James & Associates. The topic was the state of advice and fiduciary.

About halfway through the presentation, I made a bold prediction.

Normally I avoid making more than one or two predictions in a decade, and especially bold ones, because making these forecasts implies that you can somehow see into the future. But the more I think about this one, the better I feel about it.

Let me explain.