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Remove all conflicts of Interest? You’re Dreamin’​!

Remove all conflicts of Interest? You’re Dreamin’​!

It is unfortunately too easy to find trade press reflecting the wrong-doing of an individual or organisation in the financial markets. Should the nature of any indiscretion or activity be measured by degrees, or is it outright fraudulent? Is being ignorant of “Best Interest Duty or Reasonable Basis” any better than knowingly disrespecting this lawful responsibility when a financial adviser? A recent article was titled “The idea that commissions are not conflicted is akin to the argument that guns don’t kill people“. Having read the article it made sense to me and is clearly consistent with the direction of the industry. Interestingly, in reading to the end, the author represents an association that supports independent advice (and names his individual business also). This is the world of educational/content marketing as a means to an end – in this case to grow their membership and promote his business as a responsible independent service. Arguably, is it not a subtle conflict of interest to write this article as it promotes the association and his business? Conflict of interest is difficult to avoid. Not just for the financial planning industry & the nature of human behaviour is that people lie. In fact, a fantastic documentary titled “(Dis)Honesty – the Truth about Lies” (Available on Netflix) is a great depiction of human behaviour. It features individuals sharing their stories on the outcomes of their lies (at the time they lied, it was seen in some circumstances as in the best interest of themselves, their family and not hurting anyone else). People lie to protect themselves, not look foolish, avoid conflict, to preserve something they...