SEC continues to reject Bitcoin ETF proposals because the proposals are not consistent with the Exchange Act Section 6(b)(5) and its requirement that a national securities exchange's rules "be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices."
The Department of Labor put in place a fiduciary rule in 2016 to regulate the behavior of brokers when dealing with retirement accounts. The rule embodied the "strong form" of retirement regulation calling for brokers to place their clients' interest ahead of their own. However, the federal appeals court struck down the regulation in March, 2018 and the Trump Administration has indicated it will not challenge the ruling, leaving the obligations of brokers to their retirement accounts in limbo. The Securities and Exchange Commission has released an ambiguous proposal that would require brokers "to act in the best interest of the retail client." To make matters worst, the SEC states "we are not proposing to define best interest at this time." We will continue to track this important issue in subsequent blogs.
Robo-advisors are set to replace financial advisors in the same way that online banking is replacing bank tellers. This rapidly growing service offers many of the functions of a financial advisor, but at a fraction of the cost. By one estimate, robo-advisors will have $2.2 trillion in assets under management by 2020.
About Ezra Zask
Ezra Zask has spent over 30 years in the finance and investment areas, providing research and consulting to investors and investment management companies. He has founded and managed a hedge fund, fund of funds and investment advisory firms, ans held senior positions in hedge funds and investment advisory firms. He has taught at Princeton and Yale graduate schools and written extensively including a best-selling book, All About Hedge Funds, Second Edition (McGraw Hill: 2013)