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Financial Planning

Financial Planners Embrace the Fiduciary Rule

Certified financial planners aim to put you first at all times.

Back in June, it appeared that the Department of Labor regulation that requires financial professionals to act in the best interests of clients when giving retirement account advice would be implemented on schedule. Now the agency may push back full compliance to July 2019. But the self-regulatory body for CFPs is moving ahead to broaden its fiduciary standard to apply to all of its nearly 77,800 members.

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards requires CFPs to act as fiduciaries when providing financial planning, such as developing strategies to meet clients' goals. Now, it is proposing to require CFPs to comply with the standard whenever they give financial advice -- a change most likely to affect brokers and insurance agents who don't provide comprehensive financial planning. Securities brokers adhere to a less-stringent standard: Their recommendations must be “suitable” for a client. The DOL's fiduciary rule addresses concerns that some brokers steered retirement savers into investments with the highest fees.

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The CFP board is reviewing public comments before deciding whether to adopt the proposal. If it does, the earliest it could take effect is next year.

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