Merrill Lynch was recently fined more the $8 million for violating the anti-fraud and policies and procedures provisions of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. In other words, the SEC found that Bank of America's Merrill failed to disclose a conflict of interest to more than 1,500 of Merrill’s retail advisory accounts who were sold approximately $575 million in products. Marc P. Berger, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office said that they failed to "disclose its own business interests in deciding whether certain products should remain available to investment advisory clients, Merrill Lynch deprived its clients of unbiased financial advice. Retail clients must feel confident that their advisors are eliminating or disclosing such conflicts and fulfilling their fiduciary duties.”
Investors deserve an unadulterated fiduciary who will look out for their best interests at all times.