Consumer advocate Barbara Roper, who recently received the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard's annual Frankel Fiduciary Prize, knows a thing or two about the investment industry.

I had the honor of sitting down with her for an interview (see "Exclusive Interview: Barbara Roper Says Mere Disclosure Inadequate for Fiduciary Advice," FiduciaryNews.com, October 17, 2017). She mentioned one thing in particular that set those dusty gears in my head awhirlin'.

In distinguishing the difference between brokers – specifically, brokerage services – and advisers, she bluntly said, "This isn't the 1930s. We don't need licensed professionals to help us 'effect transactions' in securities. We can do that for ourselves with a few clicks of the mouse."

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal FiduciaryNews.com and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/christophercarosa/)and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ChrisCarosa).