As financial advisors scramble to digest and comply with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, firms and industry associations are offering more and more help to advisors grappling with the 1,000 or so pages of new regulation.
Tuesday, Morningstar and the American Retirement Association (ARA) unveiled a new education program offered through Morningstar Advisor Workstation.
Brian Graff, CEO of ARA, said in a statement that the association’s IRA Fiduciary Adviser education module, integrated with Morningstar’s workstation, will help advisors not only understand and comply with the fiduciary rule but also go above and beyond what will be legally required of fiduciaries. The new tool will dissect the fiduciary rule, among other regulations, and allow organizations to track how much of the module advisors complete.
“Regulations come, go and change all of the time,” said Graff. “While there has been an enormous focus on complying with the Labor Department’s new fiduciary regulation, the SEC and FINRA have both already signaled their intent to introduce additional fiduciary regulations.”
With only nine months before the DOL’s rule has to be implemented, education should become a priority for advisors.
“Advisors who work with retirement accounts, particularly IRAs, will need to conform with a higher, and for some, dramatically higher standard of care, but that’s only the beginning,” Graff said.
Also this week, 1st Global, an independent broker/dealer focused on CPAs, said its in-house DOL Rule Task Force will lead a workshop on the regulation as part of an upcoming seminar for advisors. The firm launched the task force in February to educate its advisors on the rule. So far, efforts have included topical webinars, answers to various questions, outside commentary, weekly communications and a resource center on the company’s advisor portal.
“Our goal with this task force is to ensure that our advisors understand not only how this rule impacts their businesses, but how it impacts their clients as well,” said Jeff Magson, executive sponsor of the DOL Rule Task Force and client experience officer, in a statement. “We have dedicated an enormous amount of resources to fully understanding the rule, executing the required changes and, most importantly, educating our advisors.”