You are a professional financial adviser and you assist your clients in selecting investments. Your supervisor gives you a list of “recommended mutual funds.” Although these mutual funds appear riskier than you normally recommend to your clients, your supervisor assures you that these funds represent the best investment opportunities for the clients. The mutual funds on the “recommended list” are paying your company to place them on the list and providing free trips to your supervisor based on a point system (the more you sell, the more points earned.) You recommend these funds to your client and do not disclose that the funds are paying your company to recommend these funds.
Questions: Provide honest and detailed answer
1. What are the ethical issues/dilemmas?
2. Who might be affected by this situation?
3. List three to five possible actions a person in this situation could take.
4. What would you do?
5. Discuss all of the “tests” that influenced your decision and explain why this test had an impact on your decision.
(The tests are: Harm, Legal, Precedent, Publicity, Defensibility, Mom, Reversibility, Virtues, Professional, Peer, Organization, How does it make me feel?)
A. Harm test: Does this option do less harm than the alternatives?
B. Legality test: Is this option legal? If the answer is “no,” stop here!
C. Precedent test: Does this option set precedent, which, while the outcome in this fact pattern is not problematic, this option under another fact pattern could cause a dramatically different outcome?
D. Publicity test: Would I want my choice of this option published in the newspaper?
E. Defensibility test: Could I defend my choice of this option before a Congressional committee or a jury of my peers?
F. Mom/Dad test: What would Mom/Dad think of this option? Would this option disappoint those whose respect I value?
G. Reversibility or “Golden Rule” test: Would I still think the choice of this option good if I were one of those adversely affected by it? How would I want to be treated?