What’s Going On?
In February, President Trump ordered a review by the Department of Labor of an Obama-era regulation that would require retirement advisers to give their clients investment advice that’s in their best interest. The rule, called the fiduciary rule, was scheduled to go into effect this spring, but is now delayed pending a review by the DOL.
It may seem obvious that financial advisers should act in your best interest. But currently many are only required to suggest investments that are “roughly suitable” for their client—not necessarily what’s best for them. They are even able to suggest investments in products that they may have a personal stake in bolstering. Under the Obama administration, the White House Council of Economic Advisers estimated that this greedy financial practice lost Americans $17 billion a year.
Financial groups and institutions are fighting hard to make sure they can continue defrauding investors on their best interests and the Trump administration and Republican party are behind them. In January, Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) introduced a bill that would delay implementation of the rule for a full two years with the hopes of eventually revoking it altogether.
But the public may not let them. The DOL is accepting comments on the fiduciary rule until April 17. As of mid-March, the DOL had received over 178,000 letters in support of the rule and about 15,000 against.
What Can I Do?
Back in March, Christopher D. Cook warned against giving President Trump’s labor secretary nominee, Alexander Acosta, a pass for not being as obviously objectionable as Andrew Puzder, citing his deference to Trump’s decision to roll back the fiduciary rule as one of many reasons to keep close tabs on his actions.