The company's S-1 lays the groundwork for what is widely expected to be one of the largest initial public offerings of the year, second only to Uber's IPO in May. It's also...Technologyread more
Fraud investigator Harry Markopolos' accusations extended beyond GE's management to actuaries, auditors and analysts who he claims overlooked billions in liabilities.Marketsread more
Trump's tweet comes a day after Apple put out a press release describing the money it spends on U.S.-based suppliers and vendors.Technologyread more
CNBC combed through Wall Street research to see which stocks are still a buy after their earnings reports.Marketsread more
President Donald Trump held a call on Wednesday with the CEOs of three major U.S. banks, according to people with knowledge of the situation.Marketsread more
Despite aggressive strides, Waymo needs one thing before their self-driving cars become a seriously useful transportation system: people. We talked to the ones closest to it.Technologyread more
Scientists say the smoke plumes, filled with megatons of tiny, harmful particles, could travel to other areas of the world and cause serious respiratory problems for people.Weather & Natural Disastersread more
Some Weight Watchers loyalists applaud Kurbo by WW. But nutritionists worry Kurbo promotes an unhealthy relationship with food during an especially impressionable time.Health and Scienceread more
Benefits from what President Trump called "the biggest reform of all time" to the tax code have dwindled to a faint breeze just 20 months after its enactment, writes John...Politicsread more
Epstein, 66, was found in his cell in Manhattan federal lockup Saturday morning and transferred to a nearby hospital, where he was subsequently pronounced dead.Politicsread more
Air travelers faced delays at U.S. airports on Friday afternoon after a computer issue snarled processing of international arrivals.Airlinesread more
Here's a surprise: Your financial advisor may not be operating with your best interests at heart.
That was the finding from a report released Wednesday by the Consumer Federation of America, a Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group. The organization looked at 25 major brokerage firms and insurance companies.
The report said while brokerage firms and insurance companies call their professionals "financial advisors," these individuals often are actually sales representatives who pitch mutual funds, annuities and insurance products.
"The firms know what sells to the public," said Barbara Roper, director of investor protection at the CFA and a co-author of the report.
"They know if they want to attract business, they have to portray themselves as fiduciary advisors," she said.
The Department of Labor is set to roll out a rule on April 10 that would require broker-dealers and financial advisors to offer advice putting the client's best interests first when giving guidance about retirement accounts such as IRAs. The regulation does not apply to regular brokerage investment accounts.
"SIFMA has long supported a best interest standard for broker-dealers across all retail investment accounts, not just retirement accounts," wrote Kenneth E. Bentsen, president and CEO of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a New York and Washington, D.C.-based organization that represents broker-dealers and banks, in an email.
"We continue to believe that the Securities and Exchange Commission, not the DOL, is the agency to create a best-interest standard to protect retail investors, and we will continue to advocate to make that happen," he wrote.
The report said broker-dealers and insurance companies tout financial planning and investment advice on their websites that's based on the particular needs of the client.
However, Roper said, industry lobbyists who represent these firms took a different tack by suing to block the fiduciary rule, according to the report.
More than $7 trillion in IRA assets would be subject to the fiduciary regulation. These accounts have been large money makers for financial services firms.
"They call themselves financial advisors and say that it's all about personalized advice," Roper said. "But the trade associations go into court and say this isn't advice at all, that it's just sales and an arm's length sales transaction."
This leaves the investing public confused about their advisors' real role, she said.
"The 'report' fails to acknowledge the fact that the overwhelming majority of our members have been dually registered for decades, therefore working as fiduciaries," wrote Chris Paulitz, a senior vice president at the Financial Services Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that represents broker-dealers, in an email.
You should familiarize yourself with how your advisor gets paid.
Roper suggests asking your advisor to sign a fiduciary oath which will require him or her to avoid conflicts of interest.
Don't be afraid to ask whether he or she collects a commission for the sale of mutual funds, annuities and insurance.
"There is nothing inherently wrong with commissions, but it's about all of the other conflicts," Roper said. "That includes paying brokers more to sell one product over another and basing bonuses on their success in meeting sales quotas for proprietary products."