The results of the study commissioned by South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson are in: the status quo regarding government oversight of financial advisors is adequate and no change is needed.
The bottom line is this: sales people touting their financial products can continue to look and act like they are working in the best interests of the consumer, without disclosing the fact they are not and there is no need to make financial planning a profession.
What this means is that consumers will continue to need to work very hard to determine if their financial advisor is a salesperson or their advocate and whether they are a client or a prospect.
This is unfortunate and I am sad and embarrassed that it’s my Senator who led the charge to protect the insurance companies and investment bankers from having to meet a fiduciary standard when they are giving financial advice.
An excellent article giving much more detail on the GAO findings was written by Chuck Jaffe, of MarketWatch, and can be read by clicking here.