Many of us probably have fiduciary rule whiplash. On March 15, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Department of Labor’s wide-ranging rules package, known as the fiduciary rule, which would have dramatically changed the way the DOL regulated advisors. The Trump administration was widely assumed to be planning further changes, but after four district courts upheld the rule, the circuit court’s decision came as a bit of a shock.
But the saga of government efforts to provide more muscular regulation of financial advice continued anyway. On April 18, SEC commissioners weighed in, voting four to one to release the SEC’s rules package, which aims to raise standards for advisors. Although the SEC has had the authority to write these kinds of regulations since 2010, earlier efforts petered out in 2013 before the DOL took on its fiduciary rule project.