Research continues to show individual investors are confused by the titles used by investment professionals and cannot distinguish between investment advisers and brokers. In a recent paper in the Financial Analyst Journal, the authors shared their survey results which demonstrate the difficulty investors have in discerning which professionals must act in the best interests of their clients (i.e. a FIDUCIARY).
Unfortunately, it is the financial industry itself (or rather the banks within) that perpetuate the confusion. Lobbying efforts from the brokerage world (whose advice is held to a lower "suitability" standard) rabidly defend the current state of confusion and are against any uniform standard.