The term \u201cfiduciary standard\u201d sounds like a foreign language to many Americans, but our latest survey revealed that it\u2019s a standard most consumers want brokers to adhere to.\r\nSurvey Says\r\nIn an effort to uncover how well American consumers understand the implications of the Department of Labor\u2019s new proposed fiduciary rule, we surveyed* nearly 1,400 people across the country. Among our findings, 94% of respondents said they would look for other financial counsel if they knew their broker wasn\u2019t required to provide advice in their best interest.\r\n\r\nThe problem is, a lot of investors who are saving for retirement with 401(k) and IRA accounts don\u2019t know if their broker has to follow fiduciary regulations, which require them to give advice in their clients\u2019 best interest, not their own. 22% of people polled didn\u2019t know what the difference between a broker and a financial advisor is (brokers are not required by law to follow the fiduciary standard, and financial advisors are). 34% of people conceded that they weren\u2019t entirely sure what the fiduciary standard is.\r\nConsumers And The Fiduciary Standard\r\nWhen consumers are looking for financial advice, whether or not their counsel follows the fiduciary standard or not can ultimately have a large impact on their retirement savings. That\u2019s why we asked survey-takers what they thought the fiduciary standard means for brokers. We got a range of answers, including:\r\n\r\n\u2022 \u201cI don\u2019t know but it sounds bad.\u201d\r\n\u2022 \u201cFollow sane and ethical standards.\u201d\r\n\u2022 \u201cHow the brokers can line their pockets.\u201d\r\n\u2022 \u201cIt is a fake word that is useless as far as requiring financial responsibility.\u201d\r\n\u2022 \u201cVery little if it means a chance to earn a higher commission from \u2018pushing\u2019 an investment that earns a higher fee.\u201d\r\n\u2022 \u201cUnfortunately, I don't think it means anything to many in the financial industry.\u201d\r\n\u2022 \u201cNot as small as \u2018Fiduciary Small\u2019 and not as large as \u2018Fiduciary Large.\u2019\u201d\r\n\u2022 \u201cNothing. They do not need to adhere to it, but they SHOULD!\u201d\r\n\r\nThe fiduciary standard may be misunderstood, most Americans think that a regulation like it should be in place. 93% of people want investment brokers to be legally required to act in their best interest, and 51% of people (mistakenly) think that laws are already in place to make this a guarantee.\r\n\r\nOur survey revealed that whether folks know about the fiduciary standard or not, many are skeptical of brokers compared to other professionals:\r\n\r\n\u2022 51% of people ranked Uber drivers as the most or second-most trustworthy professionals.\r\n\u2022 37% chose lawyers as the most or second most trustworthy.\r\n\u2022 Only 31% of people ranked brokers as most trustworthy.\r\n\u2022 Just 30% of people feel extremely or very confident that they know about all the fees they pay their investment advisor or broker.\r\n\u2022 29% of people are somewhat confident in their knowledge of fees, and 41% are between not so confident and not at all confident.\r\nBrokers Vs. Advisors\r\nThis August 10th-12th, the Department of Labor is going to hold public hearings to discuss the newly proposed rule. If approved, the rule would require financial brokers to adhere to the fiduciary standard \u2013 the requirement to put clients\u2019 interests before their own.\r\n\r\nFinancial advisors, like Personal Capital, are already held to this standard as part of the Investment Advisors Act of 1940, but brokers are held only to a standard of \u201csuitability,\u201d meaning they must recommend products that are appropriate for a client\u2019s situation, but not necessarily in the client\u2019s best interest.\r\n\r\nOur CEO, Bill Harris, stated, \u201cA move toward the fiduciary standard is long overdue, and has the potential to clean up the financial services industry for the benefit of investors. Retirement savers should be able to know that the advice they receive is from a fiduciary serving their best interest and not accompanied by hidden fees. That kind of opacity is predatory and should be a thing of the past.\u201d\r\nThe Fight For Retirement Security\r\nIt is our hope that the new fiduciary rule will be approved and implemented as soon as possible, so that more retirement savers get the conflict-free advice they need to make the right financial decisions.\r\n\r\nStay tuned this August for more details on fiduciary rule developments. For more findings around what US consumers feel about investing, check out our survey results here.\r\n\r\n*The survey was conducted online by a third party on behalf of Personal Capital within the United States, from June 4 through 7, 2015, among 1,391 adults aged 18 and older. Survey respondents were part of a diverse population of more than 45 million people who take surveys every month.