If there is any question that the SEC is focused on elder investor issues, look no further than its recent program announcement. The SEC initiated a program designed to examine retirement planning guidance.
Under this program, the SEC intends to explore whether the compensation advisers receive presents a conflict of interests and, if so, how those conflicts are managed. The SEC is also going to scrutinize whether the adviser’s marketing materials are accurate, and assess whether adviser due diligence on investments is adequate. Finally, the SEC is going to review investment recommendations, especially those that entail selling assets held in an employment retirement plan and the rolling over of those assets into an individual retirement plan.
This program should come as no surprise because the SEC and FINRA have made elder investment-related issues a target in their exam priorities. In reality, however, the core focus of this examination program should have always been on your front-burner.
With the graying of our society, advisers need to make sure that they conduct heightened due diligence when it comes to older clients, especially where a retirement plan is at issue. The SEC has given you a road-map of the areas on which you need to focus. The failure to do so will surely result in an unpleasant experience with the SEC.*
* photo from freedigitalphotos.net