SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter backed the implementation of a uniform fiduciary standard for all investment professionals. Walter, speaking at FINRA's annual conference in May, called a fiduciary standard a "gold standard" because it would require the same level of service from both brokers and investment advisors.

Today, investment advisors are held to a fiduciary standard which requires them to make investment recommendations based on their clients' best interests. It's a stricter standard than that imposed on broker-dealers, who instead must guarantee that investments are suitable or consistent with their clients' interests. That means they can choose to recommend higher-priced investments.

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