Op-Eds and Commentary

2018 First Quarter Commentary

by Knut A. Rostad, Published on March 26, 2018

Recent regulatory and industry actions on fiduciary have come fast and furiously. Unfortunately, they are mostly bad news for investors. The exception: actions in the states. The takeaway: Investors are on their own to identify real fiduciary advisors, who are also on their own to stand apart from brokers. The Institute’s Best Practices and the Campaign for Investors are more important than ever. Here’s an update on these actions and what they mean.

“Money is the new sex, the thing people don’t talk about.”

by Knut A. Rostad, Published on October 31, 2017

Mark Tibergien, CEO, Pershing Advisor Solutions, has been a thought leader in the business of advice for 30 years. Investment Advisor readers voted Tibergien the most influential leader in the advisory space earlier this year. Speaking with Knut Rostad, Tibergien expresses views that RIAs usually discuss privately. Examples? RIA standards are too low. The RIA voice is fragmented and brand is unclear. Tibergien also notes consumer distrust harms RIA recruitment and growth. To cap off, “Money is the new sex, the thing people don’t talk about.” A Freudian slip? Read on.

Daylian Cain NYU Presentation

by Daylian Cain, Published on June 3, 2016

Yale business professor, Daylian Cain, is a prolific researcher on conflicts of interest. His notoriety in investment advice policy circles was further enhanced when the Obama administration cited his work in 2015, as it argued for the DOL Conflicts of Interest Rule.

In June 2016, Cain offered a quick (seven minute video) synopsis of his thinking. The video can be found here.

One key point in professor Cain’s synopsis highlighted in this one-page summary deserves special attention. It underscores why a policy of avoiding conflicts is far superior to a policy of accepting and disclosing conflicts. The point is the potential impact of conflicts on everyone. As Cain notes, “Yet, (its not just the bad apples)… normal people are also capable of really bad behavior.”

SEC release offers little medicine to quell conflict-of-interest “virus’

by Knut A. Rostad, Published on June 11, 2013

Note: this op-ed, written by Institute for the Fiduciary Standard President Knut Rostad, is published on

Why Capitalism Has an Image Problem

by Charles Murray, Published on July 2012

Capitalism has played an important role in world history generally and in American history in particular. Nevertheless, today many Americans view capitalism with suspicion or even hostility. What’s needed is a remaking of the case for capitalism, which itself requires a restatement of capitalism’s old truths.

The Scandal Behind the New Financial Scandals

by Francesco Guerrera, Published on July 2012

Recent scandals, such as the controvery over Libor and the failure of the brokerage firm Peregrine Financial Group, underscore the severe problems within the financial industry. Such controversies have led savers to withdraw hundreds of billions of dollars from equity mutual funds. Are these events the new normal or are we at a breaking point?

How to Choose a Financial Planner

by Allan Roth, Published on March 2012

Knowing how your financial advisor makes money can help you, the consumer, make a well-informed decision. This article attempts to arm consumers with tools they can use to get the best money advice possible.

Institute Research Associate – Darren Fogarty

Darren Fogarty is a Master’s student at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, where he studies Environmental Economics. He sees this as complementary to the work he does for the Institute, where his passion for sustainability takes the form of promoting and preserving the principles which uphold the capital markets.

Darren also works as a copywriter for an employee benefits advisory firm in Phoenix, Arizona, where he helps employers in distinguishing brokers from advisors in the benefits and healthcare arenas. He received a Bachelor of Arts from UNC Greensboro, where he studied Economics and Environmental Studies, and has studied at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and Aarhus Universitet in Aarhus, Denmark.