In an industry where differentiation is difficult to create, for a short time at least, the DOL Fiduciary rule has created the perfect marketing campaign for advisors. Consider advisor “A” is a financial advisor who abides by the DOL Fiduciary Rule for IRAs but not for non-qualified accounts. Advisor “B” is a financial advisor who applies the same standards that are required under the DOL Fiduciary Rule to non-qualified accounts as well. The conversation between the advisor and client:
Advisor “B” says to prospective client who is doing business with advisor “A”: “we are legally obligated to put your best interest first when dealing with your retirement money. Because we believe in integrity and ethics, we choose to operate under the same standard when dealing with your non-qualified assets as well.”
Advisor “A” says to client: “We are legally obligated to put your best interest first when dealing with your retirement accounts, but we don’t follow the same best-interest standard for your non-qualified accounts because we don’t agree with it.”
Regardless of how many charts and comparisons an advisor can make to justify their position on the issue, they will lose business if for no other reason than it just sounds bad to clients.