Returning to a story from several months back and a sequel… We’re finally looking at partial implementation of the ‘Fiduciary Rule’ on June 9th. After some typical political delays and long drawn out lawsuits, somebody high enough finally said enough is enough and it’s moving forward. Now, the rule is technically still under review until full implementation on Jan 1, 2018, but you should see changes starting immediately.
Here’s what it means to you: Starting now, advisors handling your retirement assets will be required to act in your best interest. They will be restricted from making any misleading statements, from charging excessive fees, and most relevant, they’ll have to make sure rolling money out of a retirement plan really is right for you, based on service, investments, and fees.
As I’ve written, your first reaction may (should?) be ‘well of course they should be required to do that!’ I agree with you, but the massive financial industry is doing their best to at least water this down, and at best, kill it completely. All people handling your money should be required to do what’s in your best interest, and not make misleading statements, or charge excessive fees, etc. Alas, baby steps are better than no steps.
The Insider is going to be short this week, I am in the midst of a regulatory audit! Two weeks ago in this space I questioned what the regulators were doing about some things, and it turns out on that very same day they were drafting an Exam letter to me! I don’t suspect a conspiracy, but you have to appreciate the irony.
This is a natural course of business for financial firms, though it’s certainly a hassle to gather up all the paperwork, it’s also a great operational checkpoint and a chance to improve your procedures. It’s not an ‘audit’ in the common sense, they’re not checking your tax paperwork, but they are checking pretty much everything else. The regulators call it an exam, and I guess that fits. See you on the other side…