We have great needs in this country. Greater investments in infrastructure, education, and renewable energy, to provide the foundations for our great country's economic growth.
But these and other needs require capital - and lots of it.
We are blessed with innovation - driven in large part by our great research universities, but also in independent labs and offices throughout the country.
We are blessed with entrepreneurs - risk-takers who, with perseverance and finely honed business skills, can take innovative ideas and bring them to the marketplace.
What we need, to propel our economy forward, is capital.
While Americans invest, primarily in qualified retirement plans and IRAs, in stock and bond mutual funds, which in turn provide capital to fuel American business forward, much more in needed. More savings. More capital investment. Much more accumulations of capital over time.
Yet, a force has emerged, over the past few decades, that has stalled U.S. economic growth. It is Wall Street, and the insurance companies. Acting together they have effected a dramatic extraction of rents from the retirement savings accounts of tens of millions of our fellow citizens. By some estimates, 20% to 40% of all of the returns of the capital markets flow to Wall Street and the insurance companies, rather than to individual investors.
The result? Less capital accumulation, in the retirement savings accounts of our country.
The DOL's Conflict of Interest proposed rule would correct, to a large degree, this wrong. The DOL is due out, within the next few months, with a final rule. Implementation of the rule is expected about 7-9 months later.
This rule will mean more of the returns of the capital markets will flow to our fellow citizens. They, in turn, will accumulate that capital. This, in turn, will greatly assist to fuel future U.S. economic expansion.
But ... Wall Street and the insurance companies don't want this rule. It would affect their ability to extract huge amounts out of the system, and into their pockets. And they are fighting HARD to stop or delay the rule.
Wall Street and the insurance companies are pouring TENS OF MILLIONS (and some estimate HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS) of dollars into Congressional campaign coffers to influence members of Congress to stop the rule.
Wall Street and the insurance companies have funded a multi-million-dollar media campaign, with misleading ads - reminiscent of the tobacco company ads of a couple of decades ago.
CEOs and paid lobbyists from Wall Street firms and the insurance companies are visiting Washington, DC, each and every day, to do everything in their power to stop this rule.
Some in Washington, DC says this campaign by Wall Street and the insurance companies, to protect their own profits and to continue their greedy practices, is the most coordinated, aggressive intensive lobbying effort they have ever seen.
What's at stake?
The retirement security of our fellow Americans. They will possess far greater in retirement if conflicts of interest are largely removed from the "financial advice" and "investment advice" provided to U.S. employees and savers.
The need to protect business owners, who sponsor retirement plans. Currently many get sued, as plan sponsors (and fiduciaries), for providing inappropriate (i.e., costly) investment options to their employees. If the DOL's rules go forward, business owners will receive "retirement consulting" advice not from highly conflicted Wall Street brokers and insurance agents (who nearly always escape liability due to the shield of "suitability"), but rather from trusted advisors who undertake due diligence to identify the best investment products.
Also at stake - the future of the U.S. economy. The IMF in 2015 estimated that excessive financialization of the U.S. economy is costing U.S. economic growth 2% a year!
Moreover, with less capital accumulating, the effect is cumulative. Instead of retirees having larger retirement plan balances, and more capital to invest in the U.S. economy, far less amounts are accumulated. U.S. business becomes starved of capital.
We need to put an end to the archaic system of product sales by those who claim to be "financial advisors" and "wealth managers" and "financial planners" - while in truth they are but product salespeople with incentives to sell the highest cost (and hence, worst) products. We need, instead, to expand the number of financial advisors who possess fiduciary duties of due care, loyalty, and utmost good faith to their clients.
Contact your Senators and U.S. Representative today. Let them know that the DOL's proposed Conflict of Interest rule should go forward. For the sake of our fellow Americans. For the sake of America's future economic prosperity.
Use this simple tool to contact your member of Congress: found at www.SaveOurRetirement.org. The organizations supporting this web site, and its tool, and this effort include AARP, Better Markets, NAACP, Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, and many more. This is a non-partisan issue, of importance to all Americans.
The battle with Wall Street and the insurance companies is in full swing. Protect our fellow individual Americans and enable their retirement nest eggs to expand and grow much larger, for the sake of their own financial security in retirement. Protect U.S. business owners (plan sponsors) from the liabilities which arise when they are told to use high-cost, expensive and inappropriate investments in their 401(k) plans and other qualified retirement plans. Most importantly, empower future U.S. economic growth - for the good of us all. ACT TODAY!