On May 22, 2014, I attended the “Hill Day” with almost 100 other financial advisors as members of the Financial Services Institute. We broke up into teams of three or four, and together met with nearly 200 members of Congress or their staffs. I am pictured with the Honorable Gerald Connolly. I first met Congressman Connolly when I participated in the Leadership Fairfax Class of 2010. Gerry spent almost an hour with our delegation, and at the conclusion of our meeting, agreed to write Senators Warren and Kaine. The “fiduciary standard” regulation that has bi-partisan support from both Houses of Congress is being ignored by the Department of Labor and the White House. Just days after our meeting, the White House announced that the final regulation will be delayed from August until after the election. I will continue to work in opposition to this harmful interpretation of the “fiduciary standard.
We had three discussion topics:
- Preserving small investor access to financial advice and the ability to earn a commission on IRA advice, and preserving the opportunity for investors to choose for themselves if they wish to select an investment that is only available on a commission basis, such as non-traded REITs or BDCs (the pending Department of Labor fiduciary rule).
- Protecting advisors’ independent contractor status ensuring they will not be forced to become employees of their broker-dealers. A few regulators have persuaded members of Congress that only the “wire-house” model should be utilized for Registered Representatives. My opinion is that the Independent Broker-Dealer model should be preserved so that advisors like me are empowered to find “niche” relationships like the one we have with Kalos Financial.
- Preserving tax incentives to help hard-working Americans save for retirement.
“It is critical that members of Congress hear directly from our members who are also their constituents,”said FSI President & CEO Dale Brown. “These meetings are an opportunity for lawmakers to hear directly from the experts who help Main Street Americans achieve their financial goals. Our members are able to share real-life experience as to how the decisions elected officials and regulators make impact every-day Americans.”
By Frederick Baerenz
President & CEO
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