With the recent release of the Labor Department’s re-proposed fiduciary definition, a lot of fiduciary advocates are concerned that “fiduciary” will become a de-minimus standard. It will become a floor, not a ceiling — a bronze, not a gold standard.
For those who have been involved with the fiduciary movement, “fiduciary” has been more about defining a professional standard than a legal standard. It was a way for elite advisers to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.
Now that we have seen how a regulator can maul the word “fiduciary,” we think there’s a better approach: define a higher professional standard of care. In this case, stewardship.