To see the full dialogue as well as thoughts from other industry professionals, click here: http://www.fiduciarynews.com/2016/05/dol-fiduciary-rules-conflict-of-interest-split-personality/
Outside of the article, Chris was also interested in how retirement savers can be more aware of potential conflicts of interest. I identified three questions they could ask their current or potential service provider to hopefully help ensure that conflicts of interest are being properly disclosed or mitigated entirely.
- Do you (advisor or service provider) charge fees in a level manner neutral of any investment advice or recommendations you might make?
- Do you have any formal or informal arrangements with any investment product or product manufacturer that would create a bias in the advice you give me?
- Will you provide a simple summary that clearly defines all fees, services and investment recommendations in a format that is easily comprehendible?
However, the reality is that we are very different in the industry, and there are service providers in the industry who will continue to do business in a conflicted manner. They will need to be prepared to be up front about any potentially inappropriate conflicts-of-interest that they might have.
It may be wishful thinking, but wouldn’t it be great if the industry took a different approach to the one taken when the fee disclosure rules came out? Instead of being opaque and doing the minimum to comply, this time make clarity a priority, be direct with clients and do more than the minimum.