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Wall Street veteran Sallie Krawcheck, now head of Ellevest, says investors aren't the only people on Wall Street who are confused by the different levels of consumer protection in force at different times. Some clients are covered by what's known as the suitability rule, while others enjoy a greater level of protection from what's known as the fiduciary standard. Even Wall Street professionals, she says, are confused by the differences between the suitability rule and the fiduciary rule.

Krawcheck's suggestion is to harmonize the rules by applying the stricter version when possible, and to have one set of rules govern all adviser/client interactions on Wall Street.