If you are a “planning geek” such as myself, you have probably been reading the latest news about the Department of Labor’s new rule regarding giving advice on retirement assets.
It’s interesting to me that this rule has come from the Department of Labor (DOL) instead of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). I can only imagine that the reason is to eliminate the incentive for brokers to put retirement savers in inappropriate investments, especially in regard to their 401k assets at retirement. As the Baby Boomers begin to retire, there will be a huge wave of these transactions without regard to the many options available to the retiree and the ripple effect of the choices that are made at that time. My advice, if you are getting ready to retire, don’t be too quick to move the assets without considering the choices open to you. The new rule basically says that those who give advice on IRA’s, qualified plans and health savings accounts (HSA’s) must act as a fiduciary, putting the best interests of his or her clients first.
At CORDA, “we always have” acted as a fiduciary in managing retirement assets as well as all non-retirement and taxable savings that our clients have entrusted to us. This fiduciary standard is a key difference between what is a broker dealer versus a registered investment advisor (RIA). As an RIA, we abide by the standard of care set by the SEC which requires us to act in our clients’ best interests. Broker-dealers only have to meet a “suitability standard.”
This is a good time to remind you that “we always have” eaten our own cooking. As employees of CORDA, we are invested primarily in the same businesses in which we invest for our clients. Simply stated, our interests are aligned with yours.