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Financial Regulatory Reform

The New Financial Law and You

Q-and-A explains how reforms affect your money, credit and investments

The fiduciary duty is important for older Americans, because people making decisions later in life have a much shorter window of opportunity to recoup losses. The fact that they can talk to somebody who has their best interest at heart makes it much less likely that they're going to get ripped off.

Q: Does the new law help protect older investors from being taken advantage of by scam artists?

A: To the extent that it enhances and makes clear the disclosures that are given, it's less likely that people are going to get duped. As far as preventing a Madoff-like Ponzi scheme, what the bill does is authorize a lot more money to the SEC for enhanced enforcement.

Q: If an older investor wants to work with a financial professional, how does the new legislation help ensure that that professional is qualified to give advice?

A: The bill authorizes grants to states to adopt and enforce rules governing the use in advertising of so-called senior specialist designations. These designations suggest that salespeople are qualified to give investing advice to people investing for retirement or in retirement.

Q: Does the law do anything to address misleading advertisements about financial products?

A: Not directly, but to the extent that more information is given in clearer language, it is less likely that people will get misled.

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