On today’s episode of Framework, Jamie talks with Phyllis Borzi, Former Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) during the Obama administration.

Phyllis is the champion of the US Depart of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule, which states that financial advisors must put their clients’ best interests above others. Before advocating for fiduciary standards and fighting for consumers and labor workers as a public servant, Phyllis was a research professor at George Washington University. 

Phyllis talks with Jamie about the importance of (really) putting a client’s best interest first, her time as a public servant under President Obama, and the impact of the redefined DOL fiduciary rule on retirement planning.

“The very important function of government is the responsibility to give clear, timely, and useful guidelines to the regulated community. Give guidelines to engage in both compliance and systems, and enforcement. You can’t just do compliance assistance, there has to be a cost of failing to comply.  A solid compliance assistance program, coupled with a vigorous enforcement program and clear concrete guidance, is really the way to go.” ~ Phyllis Borzi

Main Takeaways

  • Set aside an emergency fund. Most working families don’t have emergency funds, and the pandemic has made this obvious. Congress needs to give incentives so people are motivated to save.
  • Challenges in implementing the statutory language (ERISA) arise because there isn’t enough residual, substantive expertise in the Congress staff.
  • Put your client’s best interest first. Adhere to fiduciary standards and uphold integrity as a financial professional.
  • Government agencies must give clear and concrete guidelines to the regulation committee. Once established, financial advisors must learn to comply and always do due diligence.

Links and Important Mentions

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