Richard Murphy played big-time college football for four years, served in the Marines during the Vietnam War, and has served financial advice to clients for more than 40 years.
He knows how to stare down challenges and come out on top.
But Murphy said he may forfeit the fight if the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary rule becomes law in its current form.
“Maybe I’ll just surrender my license,” Murphy said Thursday. “It’s a complication that I don’t need.”
Past president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors in Syracuse, N.Y., Murphy owns Richard Murphy Insurance & Financial Concepts. He has more than 45 years in the insurance and financial business.
Murphy serves a range of low-, middle- and high-income clients, he said, and fears the small savers will get squeezed out if the Department of Labor adopts the fiduciary rule changes. Financial services makes up about 25 percent of his business, added Murphy, a 1967 graduate of Syracuse University.
The Department of Labor’s four-day public hearing on its proposed fiduciary rule kicks off Monday. Seventy-five groups are slated to speak during the hearing, representing a mix of those for and against.
In April, the DOL proposed new fiduciary standards governing the advice provided to qualified retirement plans employer plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). The DOL has said commission-based advice creates conflicts of interest that cost consumers.
Dori Phillips started DP Financial Services LLC in 1998 after serving many years as an independent insurance producer in both the commercial and individual arena. But Phillips said she, too, will drop financial services from her roster of services if the fiduciary rule becomes law.
“I won’t have anything to do with the business if I have to do this,” said Phillips, who said financial services make up about 30 percent of her Layton, Utah, business. “I don’t deal with the high-end client. The people this is meant to protect are the same people this is going to hurt.”
The people served by DP Financial might have as low as $25 a month to invest for retirement, Phillips said. Those folks are not going to pony up $250 or more for a financial counseling session, she added.
“When I first found out about this rule, I went straight to my clients,” Phillips recalled. “They said they absolutely would not be willing to pay a fee upfront.”
Murphy is a member of the Million Dollar Round Table, as well as a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow and Accredited Estate Planner. He said most financial advisors take ethics very seriously.
The industry is unfairly tainted by the actions of a few bad advisors, he added.
“I’ve had a securities license since 1973 and anyone can go online and check me out and see how many complaints I have,” Murphy said. “I am still looking for my first complaint. My record is clean and I believe that is because when I came into this business I was trained by people … who taught us ethics.”
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at [email protected].
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