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aladdin on a magic carpet

President Trump and the DOL Rule: A Whole New World

Is it safe? Depends on whom you trust

In chaotic times like these I revert to Disney movies and channel my inner child to visit "The Happiest Place on Earth."  Come join me as the three main characters from Aladdin reveal a Whole New World.  In our story the characters will be played by Goldman Sachs (The Genie), President- Elect Trump (Aladdin) and you (Princess or Prince Jasmine)


Love or hate them, we all can agree that Goldman is smart and makes decisions based on where the puck is going not where it has been. The firm’s recent decision to be middle men and offer many of their internal services to other firms is brave. The new Goldman initiatives are named Marcus, Symphony, Simon and Kensho. The “Old Goldman” would have never attempted these projects and wealth management firms should emulate, not condemn these bold moves. Goldman is also working on a robo investment banker that will automate the 146 steps involved in an IPO. It is a whole new world!


The DOL ruling and the FAQs shocked the financial services world and just when we had adapted our business models the presidential election results rocked our world again. As any experienced pilot will tell you when you hit turbulence you need to relax and not make any hasty decisions. Nobody knows what a Trump administration will do with the DOL rule. What we do know is that the cat is out of the bag on the topic and while the DOL ruling might be modified we and our clients will never forget how the ruling made us feel. That feeling should guide our business decisions going forward.  Don’t wait for an updated DOL ruling with the hope that its loopholes will allow for business as usual.


Aladdin asked Princess Jasmine if she wanted to go for a ride and leave the castle and see the new world.  She asked him is it safe?  He replied “do you trust me?” The DOL and the new president are definitely leading us all to a new world. Since we might not trust the regulators and our new president we need to make sure our clients can trust us. Building a firm that embraces transparency without any conflicts of interest is a good place to start. 

Let’s jump on Aladdin’s Magic Carpet and sing a song to help pass the time and calm our anxieties. 

                  It’s a whole new world

                  A new fantastic point of view

                  I’ve come so far

                  I can’t go back to where I used to be

I feel better already. Thank you Disney.

Jeff Spears is Founder and CEO of Sanctuary Wealth Services and author of the blog, Wealth Consigliere. Follow Jeff on Twitter and Facebook.


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