Acting in the Best Interest of Older Investors

Forbes-According to a recent study by Texas Tech and the University of Missouri, the findings confirmed that, not surprisingly, advanced age leads to a predictable decline in the ability to make rational money decisions. More disturbing, however, was the study’s conclusion that even as older Americans’ problem-solving skills worsen, their confidence in making the right decision increases, leaving them even more vulnerable to mistakes. The aging population of Americans – those in households age 60 and over — now holds 51 percent of all financial wealth in the country, or trillions of dollars, making consumer protection rules even more important.

Three years after the financial crisis, debate continues in Washington regarding the appropriate standard under which financial advisors provide investment advice and disclose conflicts of interest.  Opponents argue for a go-slow approach claiming, without evidence, that higher standards may be too costly for consumers.

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According to a recent study by Texas Tech and the University of Missouri, the findings confirmed that, not surprisingly, advanced age leads to a predictable decline in the ability to make rational money decisions.   More disturbing, however, was the study’s conclusion that even as older Americans’ problem-solving skills worsen, their confidence in making the right decision increases, leaving them even more vulnerable to mistakes.  The aging population of Americans – those in households age 60 and over — now holds 51 percent of all financial wealth in the country, or trillions of dollars, making consumer protection rules even more important.

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