House Votes Against Fiduciary Standards

A bill passed 254 - 166 through the House of Representatives on Tuesday which works to undermine the future retirement security of Americans.

The bill, with the Orwellian title "The Retail Investor Protection Act" (RIPA - I call it the R.I.P Act or Rest In Peace) seeks to do anything but protect "retail investors."

RIPA seeks instead to interfere with the Fiduciary Rulemaking process at the Department of Labor and Securities and Exchange Commission, delaying or eliminating any process where all financial advisors would be required to place the interest of their clients first.

Surprising as it might be, currently only a subset of "advisors" are required to be "fiduciaries," placing the best interest of their clients first. The majority of the industry has NO duty of law to place their clients interest ahead of their own.

RIPA seeks to continue to allow salespeople to give financial advice that may be self serving and then to disguise the intent of the Act by giving it a name like "Retail Investor Protection".

The "Wall Street Over Main Street Act" might be a more apropos name.

We've apparently learned nothing from the financial crisis. Instead of looking out for the little guy, this act does all it can to ensure that the little guy never gets a fair shake.

The good news is that it's unlikely to get support in the Senate and would be veto'd by the President even if it did.

This is yet another sad legislative day in the House or Non-Representatives.

Scott Dauenhauer CFP, MSFP, AIF