“Thought for the Day” #918 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

March 3, 2017

Americans likely lose about $17 billion from retirement savings every year because of bad financial advice from advisors with conflicts of interest, according to a 2015 report by the White House Council of Economic Advisors. Even though the implementation of the so-called fiduciary rule has been delayed and possibly scrapped for good due to the recent executive order signed by President Trump calling for a review of the rule, financial companies have already spent money and time to comply. For example, Merrill Lynch said it was going to stop offering commission-based retirement accounts in order to comply with the new rule. Those companies may not change course even if the rule is rescinded. Regardless of whether the fiduciary rule lives on or not, consumers should use caution when selecting a financial advisor. Ask your financial advisor if he or she is a fiduciary. If not, then be aware that the advisor is not required to act in your best interest. You should always check your financial advisor’s experience and credentials.