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February 26, 2015

Project Syndicate: Obama Steps Up

But perhaps the most important question is whether you can trust your financial adviser. Some financial advisers in the United States are paid not on the basis of how their clients do, but according to what financial products they persuade them to buy. Dennis Kelleher of Better Markets, a pro-reform group, recently summed up the current situation well: “[A]dvisers can recommend investments that generate lucrative commissions for them, even though their clients get stuck with high fees, subpar performance, and unacceptably risky products.”
Kelleher has been an effective critic of the administration in recent years, pushing long and hard to address all potential conflicts of interest in finance. And now his analysis and recommendations are being echoed in a new report issued by the Council of Economic Advisers. “Such fee structures,” the CEA warns, “generate acute conflicts of interest: the best recommendation for the saver may not be the best recommendation for the adviser’s bottom line.”
Read the full Simon Johnson article here.
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