As one of the outspoken critics of the SEC rule that
exempts fee-based brokerage services from Advisers Act regulation, TD
Ameritrade Institutional has argued the rule confuses consumers.
Now, the company is launching its own education campaign to set investors straight.
The company announced it has created an "Advisor Education Kit" that investment advisors can use to help explain to clients the differences between broker-dealers and RIAs.
Among the key messages contained within the kit: Brokers are not held to the same fiduciary standards as RIAs when it comes to serving clients.
Critics of the exemption rule have argue that while RIAs are required to put their clients' interests first, brokers are held to a lower standard that only requires them to offer products and services "suitable" to each of their clients.
"Our recent survey showed that even with increased disclosures by broker-dealers, investors are still confused," said Tom Bradley, president of TD Ameritrade Institutional. "If the thousands of RIAs in this country commit to educating investors, we can collectively raise awareness about the fiduciary responsibility of RIAs to act in their clients' best interest."
The kit includes print ad templates, a PowerPoint presentation template, handouts and tips for talking to the media. It also includes the results of a TD Ameritrade survey in May that found that 74% of respondents did not know the different obligations of RIAs and brokers.