For years, most advisors have been required to follow a simple suitability standard. This means they are only expected to make recommendations that are considered "suitable" for their clients. To put it bluntly, this allows advisors to give advice that is primarily in his or her best interest, and not the client's best interest, as long as that advice can still be technically considered "suitable."
But there's another, higher standard that some advisors hold to. It's called the fiduciary standard. Advisors who are fiduciaries must put their clients' interests before their own. Even if the advice an advisor gives is less good for the advisor, they must give it if that's what is best for the clients they serve.
Under the new rules, any financial advisor who provides advice pertaining to retirement savings, qualified plans, or IRAs will be classified as a fiduciary.(1) That means many advisors who previously followed the "suitability standard" must now make a major change in how they do business.
So what does all of this mean for me? The answer is: Absolutely nothing.
You see, my team and I have been following the fiduciary standard for years. We've always put our clients' interests first. There are three reasons for this. One, because we know the only way we can be successful is if our clients are successful. Second, because our greatest passion is helping people work toward their financial goals, and we believe acting as fiduciaries is the best way to do it.
Third, and most importantly, we've always acted as fiduciaries because we believe it's just the right thing to do. So for us, it's business as usual. We don't expect to make any changes in how we take care of your retirement accounts, and we don't expect you to have to make any changes either.
(1) Mark Cussen, "Proposed DoL Rules: How They'll Impact Financial Advisors," Investopedia, Link