SEC publishes advice rule, sets Aug. 7 comment deadline

The proposal package, filled with questions, is likely to generate hundreds of letters

May 9, 2018 @ 1:50 pm

By Mark Schoeff Jr.

The Federal Register published the Securities and Exchange Commission's investment advice reform proposal Wednesday, officially opening a comment period that will last until Aug. 7.

The SEC voted 4-1 on April 18 to release the three-part proposal, which includes a best-interest standard for brokers; new disclosure requirements for brokers and investment advisers, as well as financial adviser title reform; and an interpretation of the fiduciary standard that currently applies to investment advisers. (The hyperlink for each part goes to a page that includes a button to submit a comment.)

The proposal, which totals nearly 1,000 pages in plain text and 277 pages in the Federal Register, is laden with questions for public comment and likely to generate hundreds of letters.

The proposal maintains separate advice standards for investment advisers and brokers, and does not define what acting in a client's best interest means for brokers. The debate over whether the SEC proposal goes far enough to protect investors will continue among the competing comment letters.

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