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The Golden Rule

To most, FHO’s inclusion of "the Golden Rule" - requiring oath takers to place others interests ahead of their own - seems both obvious and essential. In fact, it would change the financial services industry radically, for the better.

 

Suitability vs. Fiduciary Responsibility


An oath that requires financial advisors to place other's interests ahead of their own is a radical departure from existing practice - and a desperately needed one. Today, investment advisors or mortgage brokers need not tell you whether an investment is a good idea or something they would do with their own money; rather, they need only determine if an investment is "suitable" for you. If you are deemed a "sophisticated investor," for example, you can be sold just about anything as long as the risks are disclosed. “Caveat emptor” ("Let the buyer beware") rules are in effect for much of what Wall Street and retail investment advisors pass off as investment advice.

 

Read more about the SEC's rule on suitability or the Bank for International Settlements observations about how suitability rules differ in application from country to country.

 

The Financial Hippocratic Oath is not for everyone. Financial professionals who cannot promise to treat their clients as their own flesh and blood should not take the oath. Further, financial professionals who refuse to adopt more demanding standards than "suitability" rules are explicitly instructed NOT to take the FHO.


And if you are an investor, you should ask yourself - why would I take advice from anyone who has NOT taken the Oath?

 
Would you pledge?
 

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