Ready, set, go: New fiduciary retirement advice protections are here

Friday is the day, folks. Starting on June 9, all financial advisers providing guidance on retirement accounts must adhere to the new U.S. Department of Labor rule requiring that they act in your best interest rather than their own. The controversial rule survived a bruising seven-year battle against entrenched interests in the financial services industry, […]

Future of retirement planning belongs to the cyborgs

Who will help you plan for retirement – a robot or a cyborg? Pundits have been saying for some time now that the future belongs to robo-advisers – automated portfolio services that use algorithms to manage investments. The robo-services have attracted interest as a way to deploy low-cost advice, but retirement planning guru Michael Kitces […]

Fiduciary-ish: Sorting out healthy, unhealthy retirement investing options

The Trump administration ordered a review last week of a new federal rule prohibiting conflicted advice to retirement savers, a move that signals its intention to withdraw or defang the regulation. As things stand now, companies have until April 10 to comply with the rule. What is the White House’s complaint against the so-called fiduciary […]

Advice or selling? Why language matters in fiduciary battle

The marketing come-ons of broker-dealers and insurance companies send this message: “We are financial advisers you can trust.” But dig through court documents and the same companies argue something quite different: “We are just sales people.” The language gap helps explain what is at stake in one of the most important consumer protection initiatives of […]

After the election, retirement security heads for a crash

Retirement security already looked like a looming train wreck for most U.S. households before Election Day. Now, the consolidation of Republican control of government threatens to accelerate the crash. It is too early to predict the agenda Donald Trump will bring to the White House on retirement policy, or where it might fit on his […]

Is the fiduciary rule fight really about the little guy?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants you to believe it is looking out for the little guy in its fight against new government regulation of the retirement investment advice industry. But that is a facade – as one consumer advocacy group found out when it checked the Chamber’s claims of grassroots support for its battle […]

The best-interest rule is a game-changer for IRA rollovers

A friend called recently looking for advice about her 401(k). Kate had decided to leave her job to pursue new career options, and money was tight during the transition. Should she roll over her $250,000 nest egg and withdraw some of the funds to help her through the career transition? An adviser at a brokerage […]

The 2016 Retirement Landscape: 5 Predictions

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” said Yogi Berra, the late baseball great.* But let’s give it a try: Here’s my forecast of the five most important stories that will unfold on the retirement beat in 2016. No market predictions here: In my view, the smart retirement investor owns a well-balanced portfolio […]

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Fiduciary rule and the case of JPMorgan Chase

A New Year’s prediction: 2016 will be a very good year for retirement investors. Not because the stock market will be strong – if anything, we’re headed for a rocky ride. But 2016 is shaping up as the year when investment advisers will at long last be required to put your best interests ahead of […]

How the new fiduciary rules will affect rollovers

The fiduciary fight isn’t over yet—but we’re getting close. Barring an unexpected upset, the U.S. Department of Labor soon will finalize regulations redefining the term “fiduciary” for purposes of the advice clients get from financial advisors. These long-overdue reforms have been debated to death, and despite the short-term disruption, they’ll be good for the standards […]