The Regulation of Investment Advice: Subscription Advisers and Fiduciary Duties

In the landmark decision of SEC v. Capital Gains Research Bureau, Inc., the United States Supreme Court upheld the Commission’s interpretation of an adviser’s quasi-fiduciary status under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 by holding fraudulent the failure of a subscription adviser to disclose to his clients his practice of acquiring securities before recommending their purchase, with the intent to resell immediately after the recommendation. It is the purpose of this comment to examine the major problems attending the dissemination of investment advice by subscription advisers, to evaluate those problems in the light of the higher standards of disclosure now judicially required of these advisers, and to suggest solutions to the still unanswered problems presented.