Articles written by Guest Columnist Ron Rhoades


 Mark Egan: Holding brokers to a fiduciary standard over the period 2008-2012 would have increased investor returns by as much as 2.73% per annum.

Part II: Tick, tick ... How FINRA tramples on 'settled' principles of the Supreme Court, and even Adam Smith, in its sanctification of two-hatted advice
The 'best interests' standard of the stock cop ignores classical arm's-length principles, of economics and the law, implicit to the entrusting of care to professionals by evoking wonders of bare-knuckles capitalism

Monday 2.1.16
Richard Ketchum professed support for a fiduciary standard,then, in the same speech, opposed the DOL's proposed rule-making, calling it 'problematic.'

Tick, tick, tick ... FINRA rewrites 'culture,' 'conflicts of interest' and 'ethics' into a farcical 'best interests' code after DOL drops a bomb on its suitability ethos
In its latest burst of bureaucratic creativity, the wirehouse cop acknowledges the scourge of Wall Street culture then quickly excuses the behavior it elicits

Friday 1.29.16
Ron Rhoades: I say let these firms so depart the marketplace! There are many, many investment advisory firms willing to provide trusted advice for reasonable fees.

Why Wall Street's DOL killer threat -- that 'millions' of IRA investors will go unadvised under new rules -- is hogwash
Investors already have options and Wall Street's withdrawal, already in progress, can only improve investor outcomes

Monday 6.8.15
Ron Rhoades: Don’s view reflects a misunderstanding of the breadth of the fiduciary principle.

Why I disagree with Don Trone's characterization of Obama's fiduciary stance as 'punitive'
The essential component of fiduciary duty -- loyalty -- is what separates the advisor from the salesperson, according to fellow fiduciary advocate Ron Rhoades

Friday 2.27.15
Ron A. Rhoades: I don't believe that Republicans are immune to the persuasion of science.

Why RIAs (Republicans, too) need to snap out of willful ignorance about climate change to claim the mantle of wealth stewardship
Conscientious financial advisors must engage in real due diligence of original documents related to this subject

Tuesday 5.20.14
Ron Rhoades: There was a time when the SEC was respected. No more.

How the SEC has pulled a vanishing act, looking the other way while brokers with flimsy pretenses hold themselves out as trusted advisors
The federal keeper of the standards has stopped battling brokers from calling themselves 'wealth managers', advertising 'trust' or looking the other way on principal trades

Tuesday 12.17.13
Ron Rhoades: Here is the rub: the plan sponsor has great difficulty holding the "retirement plan consultant" to account, given the low standard of conduct applicable to measure the potential liability of a non-fiduciary consultant.

Legal analysis: Why the Yale 401(k) letters, limits aside, should raise an alarm to plan sponsors
Ayres may not have it all letter perfect but his basic points have a legal basis

Monday 8.19.13
Ron Rhoades:  The broker-dealer, and its financial advisors, received way more compensation than the 0.85% annual amount they stated to Janet.

An X-ray of one affluent, educated and sophisticated investor's portfolio shows how it was chewed up by fees
Helping an ex-Fortune 500 retiree prepare for her appearance before Congress, the author waded through a mountain of paper only to discover that the woman was likely to outlive her portfolio

Monday 8.12.13
Ron Rhoades: Only we, as professionals, if armed with a history of its practical application, will be able to call upon Congress to implement a true fiduciary standard and the formation of a professional regulatory organization.

What the 8 pillars of a FINRA-replacing entity for RIA oversight look like and how personal accountability is key
First and foremost, the PRO would have as it members individuals (not firms) who are qualified to become members of the profession

Sunday 7.28.13
Ron Rhoades: Shouldn't the phrase: 'member, FINRA' be viewed like the warnings on cigarette packages -- i.e., as a consumer warning sign?

FINRA's scandalous litany of failures and its efforts to redefine the true fiduciary standard out of existence
Our one-man think tank continues his scathing indictment of the SRO's disingenuous and downright fraudulent practices

Wednesday 7.17.13
Ron Rhoades: Brokers continue to operate with a free hand -- unburdened by the duty of nearly every other person in the U.S.

The story of FINRA's implacable drift from its founding ideals to a pallid 'no-lying baseline'
In Part 2 of a four-part series, our one-man think tank narrates the back story of today's fiduciary standoff, getting to the root of the 'insidious conflicts' that made the terms 'broker' and 'trustee' oxymoronic

Tuesday 7.9.13
Ron Rhoades: Wall Street and the large U.S. banks have captured our regulatory bodies and Congress, to the detriment of individual American investors.

Why keeping FINRA from ruling RIAs is critical to these firms, the investor -- and even the U.S. economy
In Part 1 of a four-part series, our One Man Think Tank pulls back the lens to look at how the resolution of the fiduciary furor could reverberate nationwide

Monday 6.24.13
Ron Rhoades: I’ve put a big target on my back.

Before taking a self-imposed vow of silence, Ron Rhoades sounds off on the RIA industry and tells what's it's like to hit a professional wall
The outspoken NAPFA chairman-who-wasn't covers why the Bachus bill will rise again, the true fix for RIA exams and why the term 'fee-based' is inherently 'fraudulent'

Monday 8.27.12
Ron Rhoades: "Suitability" is a failed doctrine. FINRA itself is a colossal failure, by any measure.

An in-depth analysis of FINRA's attempted takeover of RIAs and why the group should be disbanded, Part 2
FINRA's aim is to stamp out small RIAs that compete with its large Wall Street firms. Don't let it happen, pleads NAPFA's new chairman

Thursday 5.31.12

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