Bloomberg reviews the research behind the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, which was designed to help Americans avoid $17b in excess fees attributable to conflicts of interest. The regulation faces a tenuous future under the Trump administration.
The Fiduciary Rule, finalized under Obama and originally set to take effect earlier this year, seeks to cure this disconnect. All advisers were to be required to put clients first when handling retirement accounts, where the bulk of everyday Americans’ savings reside. But then Donald Trump won the election, and on his 15th day in office, the Republican president ordered the Department of Labor to reconsider the rule. His advisers echoed Wall Street arguments that tying the hands of advisers would limit investor choices, raise the cost of financial advice, and trigger a wave of litigation. This Friday, the rule will take partial effect. Its future, though, remains deep in doubt. Many Republicans in Congress oppose it, and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has suggested that at the very least it be revised.