Massachusetts Small Business Owner Opposes Fiduciary-Only Proposal

At a recent hearing in Boston, a long line of local citizens voiced opposition to the Massachusetts Commonwealth Secretary’s proposed elitist fiduciary-only standard for financial advice. This week in the Boston Globe, local business owner Joan Jaeger Gustaff outlined why she opposes the rule, which could become effective within weeks. The people of Massachusetts would be best served if the Secretary of the Commonwealth listens to local voices like Joan’s and reconsiders his fiduciary-only proposal. Here’s what she had to say: This letter to the editor originally ran in the Boston Globe. It’s not just Wall St. that’s wary of Galvin’s proposed rule on brokers … Continue reading "Massachusetts Small Business Owner Opposes Fiduciary-Only Proposal"

NAIC Annuity Initiative Aligns with SEC Reg BI to Protect Consumers

When consumers are considering what to do to save for their future, they should take comfort in knowing that financial professionals have the consumers’ best interests first and foremost in mind when making recommendations. Thanks to recent actions by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), consumers across America are one step closer. Last weekend at the NAIC’s meeting in Austin, Texas, the NAIC’s Life Insurance and Annuities Committee unanimously approved a proposal to enhance the NAIC’s Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation. In a nutshell, the revised regulation would crystallize and strengthen the strong framework of consumer laws and regulations … Continue reading "NAIC Annuity Initiative Aligns with SEC Reg BI to Protect Consumers"

State Attorneys General Misguided About SEC’s Regulation Best Interest

The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) questioned the purpose and merits of an ill-advised lawsuit by eight attorneys general last week against the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI). ACLI supports rules requiring all financial professionals, when making a recommendation, to act in the consumer’s best interest — with care, skill, and diligence — based on the consumer’s financial needs and objectives. Consumers should know about the types and scope of services to be provided and compensation to be received by the financial professional. We also support requirements to identify and eliminate or mitigate and disclose … Continue reading "State Attorneys General Misguided About SEC’s Regulation Best Interest"

The States Should Partner with Federal and State Regulators on Consumer Protection

The average person changes jobs 10-to-15 times during their career. That’s 10-to-15 different bosses. 10-to-15 different business cards. And 10-to-15 different retirement plans. In most cases, rolling over assets from one retirement plan to another is a fairly seamless process. But if lawmakers and regulators in certain states have their way, rollovers and other transactions involving retirement security products could become quite complicated. Some states including Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Nevada are working to limit savers and retirees to fiduciary-only services. This would be a mistake. Like the Department of Labor’s now-vacated fiduciary rule, these proposed state regulations would make … Continue reading "The States Should Partner with Federal and State Regulators on Consumer Protection"

What Tax Reform Means for the States

One of my favorite quotes comes from Ben Franklin, made shortly after President Washington signed the Bill of Rights. In a letter penned to French scientist Jean-Baptiste Leroy in November 1789, Franklin wrote: “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”  The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017, represents the largest overhaul of the U.S. tax code since 1986. At the state level, the changes to the federal tax code will … Continue reading "What Tax Reform Means for the States"