It’s June 9, and the DoL fiduciary rule has arrived – sort of. The cornerstone of the rule, the Impartial Conduct Standards, effectively becomes part of any engagement not explicitly grandfathered. This is good.

The Impartial Conduct Standards mean advisers must adhere to the best-interest standard and the prudent investor rule. Conflicts must be avoided, or managed to serve the client. (Drive-by disclosure alone won’t pass muster.) Reasonable compensation is required and misleading statements are prohibited. The Impartial Conduct Standards are rigorous. They are not for sissies. They are especially necessary for small individual investors who are dependent on their retirement savings.

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