New fed. regs likely to shut down advice, services for small investors

New fed. regs likely to shut down advice, services for small investors
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[Ed. – This simply can’t be unintentional.  Especially given that there’s already a highly relevant example.]

Experts both for and against the rule I have talked to agree its broad reach could extend to financial media personalities who offer tips to individual audience members, a group that includes not just Ramsey but TV hosts like Suze Orman and Jim Cramer, as well as many other broadcasters who opine on business and investment matters. They would be ensnared by the rule’s broad redefinition of a vast swath of financial professionals as “fiduciaries” and its mandate that these “fiduciaries” only serve the “best interest” of IRA and 401(k) holders.

The main focus of the Labor Department rule has been its likely effects on brokers and their customers. The rule creates a presumption against brokers taking third-party commissions from mutual funds they sell to savers. Because of this, savers who currently pay only a small commission on the execution of an order may have to pay a much larger fee based on a percentage of their assets, which would drive some brokers to simply stop serving middle-income investors. As I note in a new report for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, similar restrictions in Great Britain have caused a “guidance gap” in which brokers have largely stopped serving customers with assets less than £150,000 ($240,000).

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