The entire financial advice profession needs to be fixed

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Business Advisor

BY ROBERT POWELL

If you had to build the personal financial advice profession from scratch, it wouldn’t look anything like what we have today.
Instead, it would look more like other professions – not other industries. It would look more like the world of lawyers, doctors, and certified public accounts and not the world of car, pharmaceutical, and house siding sales.
What we have today is this mad mad world where consumers seeking financial advice can choose from any number of providers, some of whom are nothing more than pharmaceutical salesmen masquerading as physicians and some of whom are truly acting in your best interest, as fiduciaries.
What we have today is a financial advice delivery system that is quite confusing as various studies, including one conducted for the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2008, have shown. That study, for instance, found that consumers can’t tell the difference between a salesman (or what the industry routinely refers to as a producer) and an adviser.
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