The other day, a friend shared a recent — and not great — client service experience. She had a scheduled annual portfolio review with her financial consultant, which took place via Zoom. From a technical standpoint, everything went off without a hitch. But the advisor had a face mask on during the entire presentation, even though she was clearly alone in her private office.
I began my last blog with Ben Franklin’s sage advice: “When you’re good to others, you’re best to yourself.” In keeping with this theme, in this blog I’m going to take a look at the fiduciary responsibilities of being on a board.
Long ago, Benjamin Franklin observed, “When you’re good to others, you’re best to yourself.” In my experience, that’s certainly true when it comes to serving on boards of organizations. At its best, serving on a board is a rewarding experience both for the trustee/board member and the institution that they serve.
In this blog post, we’re featuring a conversation with Tom Kmak, the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Fiduciary Decisions (formerly Fiduciary Benchmarks), founded in 2008. Tom shared his perspective on how financial professionals can best help 401(k) plan participants with IRA Rollover decisions.
In the midst of all the partisan focus in Washington, it’s easy to lose sight of an important issue that everyone agrees on: Expanding the opportunities for Americans to save for retirement. Behind the current high-decibel policy debates, officials in Washington are actively drafting various forms of legislation to address this issue.
After a distinguished career in public service — most recently as the Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) — Preston established his government affairs consultancy to help businesses stay ahead of an ever-changing legal and regulatory landscape. That’s why we wanted to check in with him to get the latest news on the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule and how it relates to IRA Rollover business.
Edward O’Connor, Principal Partner and Founder of Princeton Financial Consultants LLC, announced today that he has joined the Government Relations Committee (GAC) of the American Retirement Association. The organization’s GAC represents its members in communications with the United States Executive Branch, Congress and government agencies in shaping the retirement industry and protecting the interests of its members.
In my experience, most financial services firms are approaching the DOL fiduciary rule and the SEC’s Reg BI from the wrong angle. Yes, firms must comply with the regulations. But if your business model is to deliver personalized advice you may be missing out on opportunities to broaden and deepen your client relationships.
It’s likely that the Biden Administration is going to seek to toughen the current Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule so it aligns more closely with the 2016 version. And, at the same time, in 2021 we’ll see the SEC start examinations for Reg BI — and these examinations are likely to be more aggressive than originally anticipated. Over the long term, we may see Reg BI get toughened further.
Amidst the ongoing partisanship in Washington, DC, it can be easy to forget that there’s one thing both parties have been able to agree upon: expanding retirement savings opportunities for more Americans.
The latest bill proposed by the House Ways & Means Committee is aiming to do just that. No matter what, it seems as though Democrats and Republicans will come to agreement on some form of the proposed legislation. Although some believe that may happen during the lame-duck session, it’s more realistic to expect legislation to move forward in 2021. Which means we have to wait until 2022 or 2023 to see significant new opportunities in retirement saving, right?
Like me, you probably feel that we’re in between the ending of some major trends and the beginning of others. This in-between time is also a time of uncertainty for most of us.
There’s no need for me to list all the drivers of this uncertainty. Just considering the pandemic and the economic and political upheavals worldwide are enough to make anyone hunker down and not attempt to move forward until we see where we end up.
But when will that be? Of course, we can’t predict the answer to that question. That’s why it’s important to step back and take note of a few “mega trends” that will continue, regardless of how and when the current situation stabilizes. Firms that start to plan and prepare now will position themselves well for future growth.