Directions (Q.1-5): Read the passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/ phrases have been given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
The Obama administration has proposed a sensible new rule to do away with hidden fees and conflict of interest in financial advice, to boost Americans’ retirement savings. The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) estimates that America forgoes about $ 17 billion in retirement earnings annually as financial advisers recommend investments that generate lucrative commissions for themselves but shortchange their clients with high fees, below-par performance and risky products. Fees that kick in when securities are sold or bought find their way to advisers, who proceed to steer investors into funds with higher loads and excessive trading. The CEA survey concludes that conflicted advice lowers investment return by one percentage point every year. The new rule is meant to close a loophole in a 40-year-old US law that legally allows conflicted advice and rightly mandateadvisers to act solely in the interest of their clients. There are lessons for India, more for investors than for regulation, in which the US is playing catch-up. UK and Australia banned payments of advisers by product providers and enhanced disclosure. The EU is slated to follow suit from 2017. Sebi removed entry loads on mutual funds in August 2009 and mandated direct payment of commission by investors to the distributors. However, conflict of interest was only partially mitigated as the distributor continued to earn trail commissions from product providers.
Q1. What steps have been taken by the Obama administration to boost Americans’ retirement savings?
(1) A new rule has been proposed to get rid of hidden fees.
(2) A separate body has been formed to regulate Americans’ retirement savings.
(3) The retirement funds will be invested only in govt. secured funds.
(a) Only (1)
(b) Only (2)
(c) Only (3)
(d) Only (1) and (2)
(e) Only (2) and (3)
Q2. What do the financial advisers do to earn handsome commissions for themselves?
(a) They do hectic jobs day in and day out to convince their clients and sell them right products.
(b) They convince their clients to purchase risky products which fetch them lucrative commissions.
(c) They sell only those products which give maximum benefits to their clients.
(d) They charge little fee for their advice.
(e) All of these
Q3. Find the incorrect statement on the basis of the given passage.
(a) The Council of Economic Advisers survey concludes that conflicted advice lowers investment return every year.
(b) The new rule will force advisers to act in the interest of their clients.
(c) As per the CEA estimates, America earns about $ 17 billion through interest earnings on retirement funds.
(d) The new rule will replace a 40-year-old faulty law and close the loophole.
(e) None of these
Q4. What steps have been taken by different countries to check the conflict of interest of financial advisers?
(1) The United Kingdom and Australia have banned payments of advisers by product providers.
(2) The European Union is slated to follow suit from 2017.
(3) The Stock Exchange Boart of India has mandated direct payment of commission by investors to the distributors.
(a) Only (1) and (2)
(b) Only (2) and (3)
(c) Only (1) and (3)
(d) All (1), (2) and (3)
(e) Only (2)
Q5. What is the meaning of the phrase ‘conflict of interest’ as used in the given passage?
(a) Very high rate of interest charged by an organization
(b) The estimated rate of interest to be earned by an organization during a particular financial year
(c) A situation in which someone cannot make fair decision because they will be affected by the results
(d) The hidden fee charged by financial advisors
(e) None of these
Direction (Q. 6 -8) : Choose the word which is most SIMILAR in meaning of the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
Direction (Q. 9-10) : Choose the word which is most nearly the OPPOSITE in meaning to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.