I admit it. I'm a "believer." Yes, I am even a "fiduciary" zealot.

I believe when you say, "I act in my client's best interest," it means never placing your interests above that of the client. No caveats. I believe that core fiduciary duties cannot be waived by clients, nor can disclaimers of fiduciary duties be upheld as legitimate.

I believe when you say, "I provide objective advice," it means that conflicts of interest are avoided.

On a cool Spring morning in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Grandfather's pace quickened as the hill was crested. His wooden walking staff, at six feet long nearly as tall as Grandfather's slightly stooped frame, cracked with an escalating rhythm upon the granite street as we approached the park.

Grandfather paused before entering upon the dirt path ahead. Reaching down he picked a fresh green leaf from a small tree.

During its 2014-15 term, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on the following issue in the case of Tibble v. Edison: "Whether a claim that ERISA plan fiduciaries breached their duty of prudence by offering higher-cost retail-class mutual funds to plan participants, even though identical lower-cost institution-class mutual funds were available, is barred by 29 U. S. C.

Economist George Akerlof wrote about “Gresham’s dynamic” in his famous 1970 article, "The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism." This paper by discussed information asymmetry, which occurs when the seller knows more about a product than the buyer.
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I loved football.

I played football - on offense (wide receiver) and defense (defensive end) and special teams. I enjoyed every minute of playing. I got hurt several times, but I got back up and kept playing; so much was my love of the game.

I coached high school football, for a brief period of time, as an assistant coach under the late John Rauch, after he retired as head coach of the Oakland Raiders and took a high school coaching job to "get out of the house." He was an impressive mentor.

The 90-year old widow, Mary, a client of my estate planning law firm, was upset. Not at me. Nor at her family. Rather, she was upset at her broker.

The week before she went to her broker. The broker suggested that she annuitize a significant portion of her investment portfolio. The client was already substantially invested in a variable annuity, sold by the same broker to that client eight years before.

Fiduciary opponents bemoan possible rulemaking at the SEC in which brokers who provide "personalized investment advice" would be subject to broad fiduciary duties (including due care, loyalty, and utmost good faith) currently applicable to investment advisers (pursuant to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940).

College students ... 

Do you want a well-paying job? You must become well-rounded!

Do you want a successful life, in every sense of the word? You must expand your boundaries to find all that life has to offer.

College is a great place to transform yourself. Why? Because what have you got to lose? If someone judges you, just move on … you’ll likely not see them again (and they don’t need to be part of your personal universe any more).

For our Business Major Scholars …

I could walk around campus with earphones in, never smiling and never greeting any others. Or I could put a smile on my face, greet most who pass me by with a “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” or “How are you doing,” or – simply - “Hello.” I choose to excel.

I could not read the assigned material before each class, hoping that I will skate by just by listening to the professor and cramming before exams.

"Where is the evidence of harm?" Opponents of the fiduciary standard often ask this question. Permit me to find evidence, over the course of several blog posts.

While these may seem like isolated stories - they are not. I have dealt with hundreds of individual investors, and have seen these stories repeated over and over and over again. I have also discussed, with other fiduciary investment and financial advisors - the huge amount of harm which consumers of non-fiduciary advisors suffer today.
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