It’s hard to keep up with all the things Trump and his basket of deplorables are up to in Washington, so it’s understandable if you haven’t heard of his executive action to roll back something called the fiduciary rule.
Set to take effect in April, the rule would have required financial advisers to put the needs of their clients ahead of their own benefit. That’s “would have,” because Trump has signed an order that would delay implementation of the rule for 180 days. But if things keep going the way they have been, it’s easy to presume that this measure, like any other that would help consumers and working people, will be killed.
The technicals of the rule are a bit complex, but Slate has written about it, and Trump’s order, here. According to the article:
The concern of the wealth-management industry was that the financial razzamatazz that earns them the most money in commissions and fees is rarely in clients’ best interests. Less than 1 percent of investors are able to outguess the markets year in and year out, and that includes professional money managers. As a result, they’ll do best placing clients’ money in low-fee, passively managed index funds, ones that simply seek to replicate the results of such market measures as the S&P 500. The new rule would have forbidden financial advisers from, say, selling their clients more expensive and (to borrow Cohn’s weird analogy) less nutritious mutual funds and other investments without telling them about the benefits of simpler, cheaper, and healthier options. But you still could have put your retirement funds in the financial equivalent of tasty junk food. It’s just that the Obama administration was guessing you wouldn’t want to do so once this was all explained to you.
Naturally, spineless Republican Congresspeople like U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-7) are falling all over themselves to support Trump’s order.
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, today issued the following joint statement after President Trump took action to delay implementation of the Department of Labor’s flawed fiduciary rule:
President Trump has taken a necessary and appropriate step that will protect low- and middle-income families from a devastating regulation. The so-called fiduciary rule would have made it more difficult and more costly for many families to save for retirement.
For years, we expressed our willingness to work with the Department of Labor on a responsible approach that would protect access to affordable retirement advice and require advisors to serve the best interests of their clients. Our repeated offers were rejected by the previous administration, but the offer still stands. We look forward to working with the Trump administration to enhance protections for retirement savers and help Americans retire with the financial security they need.
Make sure you let Walberg know what you think of this the next time you call his office.