If you have heard rumblings today throughout the world of annuities, it is because things are changing. The department of labor released a new rule that holds financial advisers and brokers to the ‘fiduciary’ standard vs. ‘suitable’ standard. What does it mean? An adviser or broker is now required to put their clients’ best interest first before their own.
How do you know that your adviser or broker is working in your best interest? It’s fairly simple. Ask. The US Department of Labor in fact put out a fact sheet to help consumers know the right questions to ask. Some great examples are asking questions like, “How are you compensated and do you earn fees or commissions based on the size of my investment?”
Ask about their licensing, their experience, who is their supervisor and if they have ever been ‘disciplined’?
The DOL also suggests these reads:
- Department of Labor’s A Look at 401(k) Fees
- Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards’ Consumer Guide to Financial Self-Defense
- North American Securities Administrators Association’s Understanding Your Brokerage Account Statements
- Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s How to Avoid Problems with Your Broker
More information can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/