You may have heard reports in the news that President Trump has issued a presidential memorandum pertaining to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Fiduciary Duty Rule or “Conflict of Interest” Rule. The memorandum requires that the DOL reanalyze the tenets of this Rule, which applies only to retirement accounts administered under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), to ensure that it does not adversely impact the manner in which Americans can receive financial advice. The DOL has subsequently delayed the implementation of the rule for 60 days, until June 9, 2017. We believe that certain media have unfairly characterized this action as the “rolling back” of a consumer protection rule.
As a team of financial advisors, we greatly support the goal of investor protection for all investor assets, not only those in the retirement savings marketplace. We strive to do what is in the best interests of our clients in every interaction and we are firm believers that all financial advisors should do the same. We wholeheartedly support appropriate regulation and full transparency for investors. In fact, we are required to follow the rules of the SEC, FINRA, and state securities regulators, in addition to annual ongoing reviews from our broker-dealer. We may also be subject to an examination or inspection by these agencies at any time. To be completely clear, we take the responsibility of providing financial advice to our clients very seriously.
However, there are many in the industry that believe the Fiduciary Rule set for implementation this summer may negatively impact Americans’ ability––especially those of modest means––to save for retirement. We think the delay of implementing this rule while it is further vetted is the right thing. Our ultimate hope is that consumers and advisors alike benefit from a fiduciary standard that applies to all investment advice and is not overly complex but easy to understand.
We will continue to monitor these developments over the coming months. In the meantime, thank you for allowing us the privilege of helping you achieve your financial goals. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at FIFS Capital Advisor Group should you have any questions.