Mercer Bullard, professor of securities law at the University of Mississippi, says there is no argument that the fiduciary standard for registered investment advisers is higher than the suitability standard that governs brokers. The suitability standard lets brokers pick whichever fund gives the biggest commission while the fiduciary standard makes them disclose conflicts of interest. The Consumer Federation's Barbara Roper says investors may not realize when advice from brokers is "tainted."

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