The continuing debate in Congress, the SEC and the Department of Labor on who is and who is not a fiduciary to American’s retirement savers is but a sideshow. The retirement crisis, can be traced in part to the conflicted role of the middleman advisor, which can be summarized by three conflicts:
1. Pushing American’s nest-eggs into poorly performing investments, allowing thousands of poorly performing funds to proliferate
2. Charging high advice fees, with no added value, that detracts from investment performance
3. Creating a dependency on these poor services through conflicted “education” at employers and false advertising and lack of transparency on fees and performance.