State insurance commissioners are wrestling with whether to adopt a ‘best-interest’ standard, either explicitly or implied. What would the implications of that move be?
The Massachusetts decision to charge Scottrade with Department of Labor fiduciary rule violations shows the lengthy reach of the DOL rule. Our Kim O’Brien explains the rule’s chilling potential.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is again being pressured to limit who can call themselves an “advisor.” Does it even matter anymore? Our Kim O’Brien wonders about that.
What is in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ proposed “Best Interest” Revisions to NAIC Annuity Suitability Regulation? Our Kim O’Brien breaks it down.
Our Kim O’Brien explores further what the Department of Labor means by ‘best’ interest. Advisors need to know this to sell products under the DOL fiduciary rule mandates that went into effect June 9, 2017.
Portions of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule went into effect June 9, 2017. But what is meant by acting in the “best interest” of clients? Our Kim O’Brien tries to sort through the language.
Many agents and marketing organizations in absolute denial about the changes required to ensure they are following impartial conduct standards, our Kim O’Brien writes. The fiduciary standard is here to stay, she adds.
Despite dreary annuity sales data from the most recent reports, Americans for Annuity Protection (AAP) is confident that the downward trend will turned around in 2018. Our Kim O’Brien explains.
Americans for Annuity Protection are among those fixed annuity defenders who are fighting for fair treatment of fixed products in the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. Our Kim O’Brien explains the campaign.
Agents/advisors should be aware by now that the Department of Labor fiduciary rule took effect June 9, our Kim O’Brien writes. What does it mean for sales of financial products going forward?
Understanding “reasonable compensation” is an important key to abiding by the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. Our Kim O’Brien gets in the weeds on this important issue for agents/advisors.
The best offense against the Department of Labor fiduciary rule liability is a good defense. That means a system to consistently and thoroughly record transactions to show compliance, our Kim O’Brien writes.
Ken Fisher is again campaigning against annuities. But does he really hate the product, as his famous ads claim? Our Kim O’Brien updates a 2015 column outlining her suspicions.
Employee 401(k) accounts seems to be the preferred choice of those behind the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. Does that mean 401(k)s are doing a good job? Our Kim O’Brien tries to answer that question.
There’s been a flurry of legal activity recently around the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. What does it all mean? Our Kim O’Brien breaks it down and finds it’s not all the good news that’s being reported.
New Department of Labor fiduciary rules that went into effect June 9 require only “reasonable compensation” for sales of products into retirement accounts. What is “reasonable?” Our Kim O’Brien tries to answer that question.
How do commission-based annuity sales compare with fee transactions? Our Kim O’Brien takes a side-by-side look and the results may surprise you.
The new Department of Labor fiduciary rules could have implications for cyber-security systems if they are not strong enough. Client personal information must be securely protected under the rule’s Impartial Conduct Standards.
Commentary As you read this, most of you are aware that the Comment Period on delaying the DOL Rule was…
What licenses do you need to sell various financial products in a Department of Labor fiduciary rule world? Our Kim O’Brien discusses the various licenses and dismisses some incorrect information.
The Impartial Conduct Standards in the Department of Labor fiduciary rules have caused some confusion. Our Kim O’Brien is here to sort it all out.
The Duty of Diligence contained in the Department of Labor fiduciary rule will require advisors to employ a standardized, systematic and repeatable process when issuing advice, our Kim O’Brien says.
The ‘duty of care’ is just one of the fiduciary duties required by the DOL Rule, which takes effect Friday. Our Kim O’Brien explains how the duty of care impacts the financial advice advisors give.
Can the insurance-only agent not only survive but prosper under the Department of Labor fiduciary rule? Our Kim O’Brien says yes. She explains how in the first of a four-part series.
Annuities are the perfect compliment to Social Security to provide Americans with income that cannot outlive, notes our Kim O’Brien. So why in the Department of Labor trying to squash the products?
Access to advisors is normally cost-effective and crucial for those saving for retirement, our Kim O’Brien says. But the DOL fiduciary rule threatens to change that.
Committing to a client-first advisory means meticulous records, strong cyber-security and making sure the client fully understands the investment decisions you are proposing. Our Kim O’Brien explains in her weekly column.
The DOL fiduciary rule might eventually be repealed by President Donald J. Trump’s administration. But advisors are still going to have to change the way they do business, Kim O’Brien says.
Delay is the first step in defeating the Department of Labor fiduciary rule, says our Kim O’Brien. That’s why the Americans for Annuity Protection support delay, then repeal.
Confused over the status of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule? Join the club. Our Kim O’Brien recaps where we are at with rules and delays and delays of the rule.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is an outspoken supporter of more regulation of financial services. But is she telling the whole story with her explosive claims? Our Kim O’Brien delivers a counterpoint.
Will the Department of Labor delay the fiduciary rule created by the former administration? If it can get over some tough legal hurdles.
Thousands of financial and insurance services businesses may decide against advising consumers about the safety and protection of qualified annuities if the DOL rule is implemented as it is written. Our Kim O’Brien talks about the biggest problems.
The DOL finally released its proposed exemption permitting IMOs to become financial institutions and sell annuities under the fiduciary rule. Good news or bad news? Our Kim O’Brien breaks it down.
In early 2017, Americans for Annuity Protection will advocate for a new budget the does not appropriate the necessary funds to implement the fiduciary rule.
Last week the Department of Labor released a series of FAQs and their responses. Our Kim O’Brien breaks down four key points found among the 34 answers DOL provided.
How will conversations go when advisors are forced to sign contracts with longtime clients under the Department of Labor fiduciary rule? Our Kim O’Brien imagines it…
Trying to determine what the Department of Labor means by ‘best interest’ could be a treacherous exercise for insurers, says our Kim O’Brien.
Advisors will have to consider what licenses they hold and what licenses they may want to get under the DOL fiduciary rule.
The Best Interest Contract Exemption is one of the most flawed parts of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. Our Kim O’Brien explains why.
Our Kim O’Brien reviews the facts and figures to show where the Department of Labor went wrong with its fiduciary rule. Do you agree with her diagnosis?
About seven months remain until the first mandates of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule take effect. Firms and advisors must be able to answer several important questions to be able to make the transition.
A hearing on the first of three lawsuits designed to stop the Department of Labor fiduciary rule from taking effect begins Thursday.
Americans are facing a retirement longevity crisis, writes our Kim O’Brien. Only one financial product can truly address the threat of outliving your money: an annuity.
Less than one-quarter of employers (23 percent) have adopted one or more proven lifetime income solutions. Kim O’Brien says annuities can help solve a lot of employee retirement concerns if employers get on board.
The great thing about the annuity marketplace is the wide selection of products that can meet the individual and unique needs of every investor. Shouldn’t that be emphasized?
The Department of Homeland Security believes that a robust cybersecurity insurance market could help reduce the number of successful attacks. Is it realistic?
Rolling over to an annuity IRA is safe, responsible and provides an insurance guarantee against outliving your money, says our Kim O’Brien.
When the Department of Labor issued “corrections” to its controversial fiduciary rule, our Kim O’Brien was hopeful. But she says the results did not live up to her expectations.
Studies show many reasons why investors earn less than they should or could. In its analysis, the DOL unfairly seeks to blame investor losses on advisors.
Five lawsuits filed against the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule bring hope that rule will be voided.
The regulatory impact analysis the Department of Labor used to produce its fiduciary rule is flawed and wrong, industry veteran Kim O’Brien says. So are many other aspects of the rule.
A look back in history is a good place to start to understand how the Department of Labor came up with its fiduciary rule in the first place.
About those “concessions” the Department of Labor supposedly made in its fiduciary rule — were they really concessions, or just changes to reward special interests?
There is precedent for killing the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule based on its lack of adequate studies. Is the 2010 fight over the SEC’s doomed Rule 151A the blueprint?
While reports are crediting the Department of Labor for several concessions on its fiduciary rule published last week, there are still several problems with the rule.
What we can learn from the fiduciary rule and the MetLife “too big to fail” challenge.
A fiduciary standard is a “principles-based” standard, which has no explicit regulations or requirements governing the conduct.
The Office of Management and Budget has no choice but to return the fiduciary rule on the grounds that the Department of Labor did not do its duty adequately under the rulemaking process.
The Department of Labor says investors will benefit from its fiduciary rule. How is the decision to ban commissions working out for consumers in the United Kingdom?