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November 19, 2015

A New Threat to Your Retirement

New York Times, Teresa Tritch

In April, the Labor Department proposed an important rule designed to protect Americans’ retirement savings by requiring advisers to act in their clients’ best interests — and not their own. As things stand now, brokers, insurance agents and other salespeople — who often call themselves “consultants” or “advisers” — are allowed to steer clients into […]

November 16, 2015

Wall Street Has a Unique Way of ‘Protecting’ Small Investors

The Street, by Susan Antilla

What could be better for an investor of modest means than to wake up one morning with a bevy of new friends in high places on Wall Street and in Washington?  Just such a miracle of paternalism has occurred, as financiers and politicians have joined forces to protect the American public from a sinister plan […]

October 28, 2015

Congress’s Plan For Protecting Investors: Protecting Wall Street

Time, by Ian Salisbury

Here is what’s happening: Many Americans assume that working with a financial adviser means they will receive unvarnished advice, the same way they would from lawyer. As it happens, many financial advisers that earn commissions rather than fees don’t do this at all. They are essentially brokerage salesmen, free to peddle whatever investment products offer […]

October 25, 2015

Wagner vs. Obama: Are investors being soaked?

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, by Jim Gallagher

The Labor Department rule would turn advisers — read stock, bond and insurance brokers — into “fiduciaries” when they give advice on retirement accounts. That means they must place their clients’ interest above their own when advising people on 401(k)s, IRAs and the like. Many clients expect their advisers to do that anyway. But legally, […]

October 19, 2015

Supporting the Department of Labor’s “Best Interest Rule” Is Good for All Business

Huffington Post, Leo Hindery, Jr., Co-chair of the Task Force on Jobs Creation and former CEO of AT&T Broadband. 

[T}there’s a decision industry leaders can make today that would send a signal that we’re serious about rebuilding the public trust: supporting a Department of Labor initiative that would finally make doing what’s right for retirement savers the law of the land.  … Of course, not everyone who gives retirement investment advice is taking advantage […]

October 2, 2015

A Fiduciary Critic, Representing Whose Interest?

BloombergView, Barry Ritholtz

A fiduciary is obligated to put the client’s interest first. Period. It is higher duty of care owed to clients than the traditional broker “suitability standard.”  The change in standard [proposed by the Department of Labor] requires the adviser to put the client’s interest ahead of even the adviser’s own pecuniary interests. That is a […]

October 1, 2015

Why Wall Street Is Howling Over The Big New Reform Coming Down The Pike

Talking Points Memo, Tierney Sneed

The Obama administration is moving forward with a plan that could bring a sea change to how retirement advisors must treat their clients, while financial industry-allies in Congress engage in another round of push back.  The new rules for retirement advisors that the President and consumer advocates are pushing address a conflict of interest the […]

September 29, 2015

Is Your Financial Adviser Making Money Off Your Bad Investments?

New York Times op-ed, by Lily Batchelder and Jared Bernstein

Earlier this year the Obama administration proposed a “conflict of interest” rule, designed to ensure that when it comes to saving for retirement, financial advisers always put their clients’ interests above their own — instead of, say, nudging their clients into investment products that pay the advisers more for their recommendation, but offer less return […]

September 19, 2015

Financial loophole favors Wall Street over retirees

The Buffalo News op-ed, by Bill Armbruster, associate state director of AARP for Western New York

What if, years from now, you learn that you lost out on a quarter of your potential retirement savings because of a bum steer by a self-dealing financial adviser? Or if you run out of money in retirement and discover you could have had five more years of savings if you’d had sound advice? These […]

September 18, 2015

More Protection for a Nest Egg Has Some Brokers Upset

The New York Times, by Tara Siegel Bernard

For retirees like Deborah DePasquale, 64, the rules can’t come fast enough. After working with a broker for four years, she discovered that she and her spouse, Mary Guhin, were being charged what they said were exorbitant commissions, among other abusive practices. “If average people like me were savvy enough to understand everything financial, we […]