Update on the Fiduciary Rule (Spoiler: It's Not Dead Yet)

There's a Big Difference Between Mostly Dead and All Dead. Mostly Dead is Slightly Alive.

Remember when I wrote about the Fiduciary Rule? It was only last year, so of course you do. The rule, written by the Department of Labor (DoL), was created to ensure advisors and brokers act in their clients' best interests, at least when it comes to advisors overseeing clients' retirement accounts.

The Fiduciary Rule was in the news again this week after the Trump Administration released a memorandum directing Edward Hugler, the Acting Secretary of Labor, to "examine the Fiduciary Rule" and "prepare an updated economic and legal analysis concerning [its] likely impact."

Since the release of the memorandum, there's been some confusion surrounding the status of the rule. Allow me to clarify: The Fiduciary Rule isn't all dead. It's not even mostly dead (fans of The Princess Bride will get this reference). For now, the Rule is set to take effect on April 10, 2017.

Why Do We Need a Rule Forcing Advisors to Act in Their Clients' Best Interests??

I've asked myself this question many, many times. My conclusion: We need the Rule because there are some terrible humans working in the financial services industry.

Not Everyone is Terrible

Of course, the Rule isn't opposed by everyone in the financial services industry. Senator Elizabeth Warren issued a letter on Tuesday highlighting the importance of the Rule. I was happy to see The XY Planning Network, of which I'm a member, was mentioned as one of the companies that support the Rule.

The bottom line is that we shouldn't need a rule forcing advisors to act in their clients' best interests. The sad reality is that the Rule is necessary to ensure consumers aren't taken advantage of. I hope the Rule isn't delayed or watered down. And that it goes into effect on April 10th.

Listening / Reading / Watching

Here's what has my attention right now:

  • Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey. Have you seen The Expanse on the SyFy Channel? The show is pretty darn good and it's based on a series of books that are definitely worth reading. If you're into science fiction. And a nerd. Don't want to read? You can stream the first season of The Expanse if you have Amazon Prime.