Following is a letter I just sent to my senator when he let me know he did not support the Department of Labor’s expansion of the fiduciary standard to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). The comment period ends September 24th. Please consider going to www.saveourretirement.com and signing the petition if you agree with me.
Dear Senator Lankford,
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my last email to you concerning my support of the DOL’s expansion of the fiduciary standard. I know you are very busy, and I appreciate your reply. I understand that you are concerned that the expansion could limit citizens’ access to financial services; however, I do not believe that your concern is necessarily true. I created my firm, D.M. Wealth Management, Inc. as an Oklahoma-based Registered Investment Advisory firm in 2003. I had no clients, and I opened under a fee-only model. I have never had a minimum requirement to work with a client. There are ways that an advisor can be compensated that are transparent and fair to both the client and the advisor. I believe the brokerage community is using the only excuse they have to continue their non-fiduciary practices–make people afraid they will lose their financial professionals. Middle-class Americans won’t lose their professionals. RIAs, like me, will fill in the gap. Second, is it really the end of the world if someone loses a financial professional who isn’t a fiduciary? I believe that there are worse things than not working with someone who puts their interests ahead of yours.
When I opened my firm, I had no idea that being a fiduciary was optional in financial services. I believed everyone in financial services was a fiduciary. How can you take someone’s life savings and not hold that position? I was horrified that brokers had a lower required standard of care. I believe that the DOL’s expansion is actually not sufficient, but it is a beginning. Please reconsider your position. I believe that financial security is a family value.
Thank you for your time–
Dr. Margaret Doviak