Our friend Matthew Hutcheson, Independent Fiduciary, recently conducted testimony with the Congressional Ways and Means Committee. The goal of the testimony was to discuss fiduciary best practices as well as avoiding the potential conflicts of interest inherent to the broker dealer model in the 401(k) world. When the topic of 401(k) advice was discussed, information we provided him was cited. Our information spoke to the potential conflicts of interest that could have existed under the original January ’09 proposal, which has since been replaced by a conflict-free proposal by the DoL in February of ’10. The following is the testimony and the reference to us:
Independent Fiduciary Adviser, Chad Griffeth, AIF®, makes the following observation:
If the provider of the advice is being paid by the mutual funds in any way, trust is damaged dramatically. The reality of the situation is that the advice provider must earn participants’ and management’s respect, and the story of true independence, fiduciary prudence, and thus acting in the sole interest of the participant’s best interest is critical to the success of the advice provider, and thus the participants. If participants do not trust the source of the advice and account management, they will not use it, even though they need it. Thus, participants will likely not experience the success they need for a dignified retirement.