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Partner or practice? How to comply with the fiduciary rule

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Beyond the technicalities of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule are the practicalities of how to adjust your practice to comply while still delivering a high level of client service.

In an earlier episode, we examined the structure and context of the DOL’s newest edict. And while it is great to know the ins and outs of the rule, the more pressing question for practitioners is what it actually means at “ground level.” That aspect of the rule has been missing in some of the recent press coverage, so ShiftShapers went to an expert and educator to learn more. This is especially important information for benefits advisors who occasionally find themselves in areas covered by these regulations and for those who may be thinking about expanding their practices into those disciplines.

Jamie Hopkins is here with us this week to outline what exactly will change in light of this ruling. Jamie is an associate professor of taxation at the American College with extensive experience teaching classes on retirement, estate planning and life insurance.

Our conversation begins with a recap of the new fiduciary regulations: why they matter, and what they’re going to change. We discuss how the ruling encourages those selling benefits to either jump in the industry completely or step back. This should de-incentivize firms from selling only the occasional annuity or IRA, requiring them to have a big-picture understanding of both their advice and the market. We then explore how advisors can be sure they are in compliance with the ruling, and how they can still earn commissions by applying for exemptions (and doing considerable paperwork).

To wrap up, Jamie walks us through the questions you should ask if you decide not to go it alone and are considering a strategic partnership with another allied professional — and they aren’t the questions you might expect!

If you’re hoping to make sense of the DOL’s ruling on a functional level, Jamie’s clear-cut advice is for you — join us!

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