3ethos CEO Don Trone wrote about how the DOL fiduciary rule fails at protecting investors by focusing on some of the smallest parts of investor protection.
About 10 years ago, one of the law firms involved with some of the first class-action lawsuits against 401(k) plan sponsors and service providers met with me to see if I would consider serving as an expert witness. I asked the legal team, why are you only focusing on fees and expenses? One of the attorneys responded: Because it is the easiest fiduciary breach to argue in front of a jury. I declined to serve as a witness.
I think the Department of Labor and the Obama administration’s economic advisers have taken a similar approach. Reduce the fiduciary debate to a single sound bite that will have the most emotional impact on people: “The DOL is here to save you from bad advisers taking money out of your retirement savings.”
If that is the DOL’s strategy, then shame on them.