Bill Harris, the co-founder and CEO of Personal Capital, a digital wealth management company, is on a personal mission to save the fiduciary rule developed by the Obama administration’s Labor Department and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
“It’s just common sense,” says Harris about the fiduciary rule. “How can you argue that a financial advisor should not advise in the client’s best interest? It’s a topsy turvy world when people make that argument.”
On Friday, the Office of Management and Budget disclosed that the Labor Department had filed a notice to delay implementation of the rule, which is set to begin to take effect on April 10. No details were available, including the time frame for the delay, but 180 days has been widely discussed.
(Related on Thinkadvisor: DOL Files to Delay Fiduciary Rule)
The OMB disclosure follows a decision by a Texas federal district court on Wednesday upholding the fiduciary rule, which is opposed by several business and financial trade groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the Financial Services Institute. It was the third federal court decision to favor the rule.
“The Fiduciary Rule Lives on in Texas, Only to Die in Washington, D.C.” reads the headline of a Personal Capital press release distributed Friday.
In another press release, Harris responded to comments that White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn made to The Wall Street Journal, likening the fiduciary rule to “putting only healthy food on the menu” because if you eat unhealthy food “you might die younger.”
“Encouraging people to die younger is one way to solve our retirement crisis,” wrote Harris, whose firm is an RIA with more than $3 billion under management. “But we think a better way is to encourage people to save responsibly and invest well, so they’re able to live a long life in financial security.”
Harris, who’s been visiting regulators in Washington and media outlets in New York, including ThinkAdvisor, is equally incensed about efforts to repeal Dodd-Frank, especially Section 1033, which requires that banks and brokers provide customers their financial data such as balances, transactions and fees electronically upon request. “How can you possibly argue with that?” says Harris.