This module provides a comprehensive historical background of federal regulations, including major securities acts such as the Investment Advisers Act, ERISA, and Dodd-Frank. Both the fiduciary standard and the suitable investment standard are discussed, and the new Department of Labor fiduciary standard is covered in detail, including requirements of the Best Interest Contract Exemption. Ethical issues facing the financial services industry are addressed along with a thorough discussion of the fiduciary standard and what it means to be a fiduciary.

9–1 Explain the principal federal regulations governing the financial services industry.
9–2 Analyze the overall effectiveness, strengths, and weaknesses, of federal regulations.
9–3 Describe how the forces changing the securities industry impact the ethical climate of the business.
9–4 Analyze the current financial landscape and identify various ethical challenges it creates for both clients and advisers.
9–5 Differentiate among the current standards for advisers providing investment and retirement planning advice.
9–6 Analyze the key components and requirements of the new Department of Labor fiduciary standard and its impact on advisers.
9–7 Explain how concern over conflicted advice led to the new Department of Labor fiduciary standard for retirement investors.
9–8 Analyze investment professional and client situations to determine which ethical duty applies.
9–9 Explain the CFP Board fiduciary standard and analyze client situations to determine which principle of conduct applies.
9–10 Identify the regulatory issues, ethical duties, or principles of conduct in the steps of the asset management process.

Author: Jim Pasztor, MS, CFP®

Jim Pasztor, vice president of Academic Affairs at the College for Financial Planning is also involved with several of the College’s investment courses and the white paper series. He is a CFPM® practitioner, and has an MS degree in personal financial planning and an MSF degree in financial analysis, both from the College for Financial Planning. Jim was the recipient of the Edward D. Baker III Journal Award from IMCA in 2014 for his article Endogenous Risk and Dangers to Market Stability. You can reach Jim at

Complexity Level: Advanced