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The fiduciary rule is coming — Here’s how investors can prepare

January 31, 2017

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As a controversial new federal rule governing the relationships between investors and financial advisers nears adoption, financial services firms are reaching out to clients about changes to their relationships, including the investment products they offer and the fees they carry.

And investors, experts say, shouldn't wait until April — when the so-called “fiduciary rule” is set to take effect — to familiarize themselves with the ways the rule could affect their money.

The Labor Department and President Obama have said the rule will protect retirement savers who lose $17 billion a year to conflicts of interest.

But critics argue it will restrict the products available to investors by ruling some inappropriate or too expensive, and say it could leave holders of smaller accounts in search of a manager.

The rule has been widely opposed by the financial services industry, particularly commissions-based advisers, and some legislators want to delay it. New President Donald Trump might — or even should — seek to overturn the rule, some say, though they believe that unlikely unless adoption is delayed.

“There could be some disruption to existing relationships because there will be rules to require those in a nonfiduciary environment to make some changes,” said Blaine Aikin, executive chairman of Pittsburgh-based fi360, a training resource for financial professionals. Read More.

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