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You may have lost money in your investment portfolio,
due to mismanagement and not even know it.

New administration moves: Is investment fiduciary rule imperiled?

The following notion concerning would-be savers' investments made with brokers and financial advisers "might sound obvious," notes a recent CNN Money article.

To wit: When those professionals are handed hard-earned money to invest on behalf of their clients, they should be under a duty at all times to act in the best interests of those individuals, families and institutional investors.

Does that standard -- termed in most instances as the "fiduciary rule" -- seem to be at all objectionable or misaligned with the interests of any parties involved, including professional advisers?

The Obama administration strongly pushed that mandate last year, noting in doing so that investors needed greater protections when placing their money into the hands of people entrusted to act on their behalf.

Why the concern?

Here's why, as the above-cited CNN report points out: Advisers often push funds and other investments upon clients that are in a brokerage's best interests. They do so because of personal incentives made available to them -- including cash -- that can make recommendations in select cases less than optimal for their customers.

Tighter controls over that are scheduled to take effect this April, but it has suddenly become uncertain that they will take effect.

The reason: President Trump last week ordered the U.S. Department of Labor to review the rule. He and other critics oppose it on alleged grounds that it limits rather than promotes product choices for investors, actually making it harder for them to accumulate wealth.

Naysayers of that view are broad-based and many. One principal with the professional services company PwC says that nothing positive accrues to investors who "are taking products that are very expensive from advisers who are incentivized for those products."

The issue is now unquestionably high-profile in the financial and investment world, with many commentators certain to weigh in on the matter in upcoming weeks.

We will keep readers well apprised of any material developments that arise concerning the status of the fiduciary rule.

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