The Department of Labor has new rules which go into effect in April, 2017. The Fiduciary Rule requires retirement advisors to adhere to a fiduciary standard, putting the best interests of their clients first rather than their own. The new rule expands the types of retirement investment advice covered by fiduciary rules to include IRAs for the first time
Previously brokers and advisors were held to a less rigid standard, and could recommend products that put their own profits ahead of the best interests of their clients. The revised Fiduciary Rule will require retirement brokers to be more accountable for the advice they provide to their clients, making sustainable retirement income more likely for many retirees.
The important point is that as a fiduciary, we are required to act in the best interest of our clients. This means that any advice and recommendations must be driven by what is best for you and cannot be influenced by any other considerations. The fiduciary standard also requires advisers to maintain the expertise to both thoroughly understand clients’ financial situations as well as the variety of options available to help them meet their financial goals.
One of the more beneficial impacts of the new rules will be consolidation in the industry and less qualified advisors will fall by the wayside. All the better. The investing public will only benefit from an increased standard of care and the protections afforded under the Department of Labor rules. I welcome the change.
I would also warn that the amount of paperwork needed to open accounts and make changes in the future will obviously be increasing based on this new regulation change. We will continue to keep you posted as the procedures develop and become implemented over the next 12-18 months.