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The American Dream is Fading, and May Be Very Hard To Revive

30-rk-fam-1955My Comments: From age 10, I grew up in middle America with an educated father, a full time mother and a dog. It was assumed I would go to college, get a job, be self sufficient, and at the very least maintain the same standard of living as my parents.

I achieved that goal but that expectation is fading. The economic threshold promised by higher education is lower than it was when I was in college. We can argue ‘till the cows come home why this is so, but the reality is causing young people to struggle where I did not.

Economic inequality in this country is increasingly dramatic, and in my opinion, the cause of much of the tension we experience and describe as racial, as urban vs rural, as educated vs uneducated, and so on.

If there is a reason to try and preserve the integrity and opportunity for greatness in this country, then our political leaders have to address income inequality or we can kiss our ass goodby.

by Raj Chetty, David Grusky, Maximilian Hell, Nathaniel Hendren, Robert Manduca, Jimmy Narang December 8, 2016

The American dream isn’t dead, but it’s got one foot in the grave, according to new research.

The Washington Post reports that 92% of people born in 1940 earned more money at 30 years old than their parents did when they were the same age.
Researchers say doing better than your parents is the American dream, economically speaking. But for people born in 1980, that percentage had dropped to 51, according to the Wall Street Journal.

That means barely half of today’s 30-somethings are doing better than their parents. People born in the middle class and the Midwest have seen the steepest declines. The New York Times calls it some of the “most eye-opening economics work in recent years,” as well as “deeply alarming.”

A slowing economy alone doesn’t explain the drop off in the American dream, and researchers place the blame largely at the feet of growing inequality.

Over the past 30-some years, nearly 70% of income gains went to just the richest 10% of Americans. Researchers say that if inequality had stayed where it was in 1970, 80% of today’s 30-year-olds would be out-earning their parents.

“We need to have more equal growth if we want to revive the American dream,” researcher Raj Chetty says.

Without addressing inequality, researchers say the economy would need to grow 6% annually to reverse these trends. Donald Trump is only promising to grow it by 3.8% per year; experts say it’s more likely to be closer to 2%. (The American lawn, too, has seen better days.)

25 Reasons To Help Avoid Economic Suicide

pieter-bruegel-the-younger-proverbs-2My Comments: Don’t freak out yet! Yes, this is about economics and for some of you, it might as well be written in Russian or Greek. But it is relevant to your future standard of living. Try hard to at least get through the first paragraph. And let me know your thoughts.

Mark J. Perry Tuesday, February 14, 2017

It’s a scientifically and mathematically provable fact that all tariffs, at any time and in any country, will harm economic growth, eliminate net jobs, destroy prosperity, and lower the standard of living of the protectionist country because tariffs are guaranteed by the ironclad laws of economics to generate costs to consumers that outweigh the benefits to producers, i.e. tariffs will always impose deadweight losses on the protectionist country (see diagram below, and “An economic analysis of protectionism clearly shows that Trump’s tariffs would make us poorer, not greater“). That is, the reality that tariffs always inflict great economic damage and leave society worse off is not a debatable outcome, rather it’s a provable fact, like the law of gravity.

(There’s a chart that goes here. It’s complicated. If you want to see it, visit the source: https://goo.gl/i2rOkZ )

Update: There is plenty of empirical evidence showing that protectionism and tariffs always generate costs to consumers that are far in excess of the benefits to producers (i.e. deadweight costs) see CD posts here, here and here.

The Justification

So why is protectionism being taken so seriously, and given so much credibility, when it’s actually a job-destroying, prosperity-destroying form of economic suicide and an economic death wish?

Here are my top 25 reasons that explain why protectionism is taken so seriously, despite the fact that it’s guaranteed to impoverish America and destroy jobs, not make us “great again”:

1. The false belief that trade is a zero-sum game (win-lose), when in fact it’s win-win.
2. The costs of protectionism to consumers are mostly hidden.
3. The benefits of protectionism to producers are easily identifiable and visible.
4. The jobs saved by protectionism are observable and visible.
5. The jobs lost from protectionism are not easily observable or visible.
6. The benefits of protectionism to individual producers are very high (e.g. $300,000 annual increase in revenues per sugar farm from trade barriers for foreign sugar).
7. The costs of protectionism to individual consumers is very low (e.g. $5-10 per year in higher sugar prices per person due to sugar tariffs), although the costs in the aggregate of protectionism are very high.
8. The costs of protectionism to consumers are delayed over many years.
9. The benefits of protectionism to producers are immediate.
10. Producers seeking the benefits of protectionism are concentrated and well-organized.
11. Consumers paying the costs of protectionism are dispersed and disorganized.
12. There is a huge political payoff to politicians from protectionism in the form of votes, political support, and financial contributions from protected domestic firms and industries.
13. There is a huge political cost to politicians who attempt to remove or lower trade barriers in the form of lost votes, support and financial contributions from previously protected domestic producers.
14. The pathological, but false obsession that exports are good.
15. The pathological, but false obsession that imports are bad.
16. The fact that most Americans work for a company that produces a single product or group of similar products (e.g. cars, steel, textiles, appliances) and are therefore favorably disposed to supporting protectionist trade policies that benefit their employer and industry.
17. The fact that American consumers purchase hundreds, if not thousands of individual products, goods and services, and are therefore unlikely to be fully aware of the negative effects of protectionism or be motivated to fight protectionism.
18. Many Americans think that exporting US products is patriotic.
19. Many Americans think that importing foreign products is unpatriotic.
20. The false belief that trade deficits are a sign of economic weakness.
21. The false belief that trade surpluses are a sign of economic strength.
22. The fact that protectionism is guaranteed to create economic deadweight losses is not easily understood, nor are those losses easily observable or measurable.
23. The general lack of economic literacy among the general public.
24. The general lack of economic literacy among politicians, or their intentional disregard for the economics of protectionism in favor of enacting public policies that help them get re-elected.
25. The failure to recognize that most imports are inputs purchased by American firms, which allow them to be as competitive as possible when selling their outputs in global markets.
26. Taken together, the 25 reasons above help us understand the popularity of protectionism, despite the fact that it’s guaranteed to inflict great economic harm. Protectionism is popular primarily for political reasons, not economic reasons. To paraphrase Thomas Sowell, the first lesson of international economics is that free trade makes us better off and protectionism makes us worse off.
27. The first lesson of politics when it comes to international trade is to ignore the first lesson of international economics, and impose protectionist trade policies when they further the political interests of short-sighted elected officials. When politicians can count on the economic illiteracy of the general public and their blind patriotism to “Buy American,” the political payoffs from protectionism are too tempting to ignore despite the reality that it’s a form of economic suicide.
28. And because the benefits of tariffs to producers (and jobs created or saved) are concentrated, immediate and visible, while the costs to consumers (and jobs lost) are diffused, delayed and invisible, it’s pretty easy to understand why protectionism is popular, even though the economic costs far outweigh the economic benefits (i.e. deadweight losses result) and it’s therefore ultimately a form of self-inflicted economic poison.

Your Local Social Security Office: Who Can Help

SSA-image-3My Comments: There are a lot of good people working for the Social Security Administration. It’s just that some of them are not equipped to answer your questions. This leads to frustration and sometimes making the wrong choices. Here’s an article that might be helpful if you have questions of them and need the right answer.

Devin Carroll | February 17, 2017

I help a lot of clients with Social Security. One thing they all have in common is that they’ve called their local Social Security office at least once. Most of these calls have ended in frustration. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you know who to ask for, you’ll get the help you need.

I often consult with individuals throughout the nation regarding Social Security issues. For some, it’s simply determining how their filing strategy fits in with their overall retirement plan and making sure they haven’t missed anything. For others, I help solve complex Social Security problems. Many that I help would never call me if they would have received a satisfactory answer and solid advice when they called their local Social Security office. So I may be hurting myself slightly, but I can’t stand to see any more bad, and sometimes non-reversible, decisions made as a result of incorrect guidance from the Social Security Administration.

I’m going to tell you who to ask for the next time you call.

The Hierarchy at the Social Security Office

If you’ve ever been to your local Social Security office, you’ve probably seen a maze of cubicles and possibly more employees than you expected. All these people have a role and handle very specific areas of Social Security benefits. Within each Social Security office there is a hierarchy of representatives. Not all are created equal. For retirement and disability benefits, the Social Security employee will most likely have one of the following titles.

Service representatives have the responsibility of handling general inquiries, fixing simple post-claim issues and answering the phones. Simply put, they are generalists. Although this is the first position for a new hire, I wouldn’t automatically discount their experience. Some service representatives begin—and end—a long Social Security career with the same title. Just understand, the service representative that answers your call may be a six-month employee or a 25-year employee.

Claims Representative

The claims representative is there for one reason: to assist individuals in filing claims to benefits under Social Security programs. Unless you are ready to process your claim, you’ll have little interaction with this representative.

Technical Expert

The technical experts handle the complex cases and do the stuff that’s too complicated for the others. Those I’ve come in contact with have exhibited a deep understanding of the rules and provisions of the Social Security programs. But you won’t find them answering the phones or meeting with just anyone. Normally, you have to be referred by a service representative or a claims representative to get in front of the technical expert.

How to Get Help

The next time you call (or visit) your local Social Security office, you’ll speak to a service representative. Give them a chance and they may be able to help you. However, if you have ANY doubt about what you’re being told, it’s time to escalate. Ask them to let you speak to a technical expert. It may take a while, but eventually you’ll be able speak to the most knowledgeable person in the office.

Source: http://www.investopedia.com/advisor-network/articles/021717/your-local-social-security-office-who-can-help/#ixzz4ZLjiVeHc

Trump is in the wrong place at the wrong time when it comes to the stock market

changeaheadroadsignMy Comments: It’s Monday, my day to talk about investments. Today, there will be two posts instead of one.

I think we’re in a bubble, and those don’t end well. From the tulip mania bubble several hundred years ago in Holland to the DotCom bubble in 1999-2000, a lot of people lost a lot of money.

If you aren’t already concerned about your exposure to the markets, you need to be. The downside threat far exceeds the upside potential.

Frank Chaparro / Feb 19, 2017

It looks like this bull market just won’t quit. Friday marked the 2,003 trading day since the stock market rally began back in 2009, making it even longer than the bull market that preceded the 1929 crash.

And since President Donald Trump’s surprise victory in November, stocks have been on a seemingly unstoppable upswing with the S&P 500 rallying nearly 10%.

The S&P 500, Dow Jones industrial average, and the Nasdaq all recently hit all-time highs at the same time for five straight days, making for the longest such streak in 25 years.

On top of that, stocks have not witnessed a 1% decrease since October 11. That is the longest streak since 2006.

As Trump noted in a tweet Thursday morning, consumer confidence has also improved. In January, consumer confidence soared to the highest level in over a decade.

And it’s not surprising that confidence is soaring when you consider the fact that a number of economic indicators are improving. The latest jobs report, for instance, exceeded forecasters expectations with 227,000 jobs added versus the predicted 180,000.

And that’s not all. Confidence also seems to have translated into higher retail sales. Retail sales picked up a 0.4% gain in January, which exceeded the 0.1% gain analysts expected.

But despite all of this data that suggests a strong and resolute economy and market, Michael Paulenoff, the president of Pattern Analytics, is still convinced a correction is on the horizon. He points to the current position of the Volatility Index and declining volumes as proof that our 415-weeklong rally is coming to an end.

“For decades volumes have preceded a rise in prices in the stock market. Likewise, declining volume leads to a decline in prices,” he said.

Paulenoff told Business Insider that the end of our current rally will put President Trump in the exact opposite situation as his predecessor.

President Obama presidency began a year after the stock market lost nearly 40% in the midst of the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

“When President Obama’s term as president started the markets were grossly undervalued,” he said.

“Obama just happened to be at the right place, right time — after a 50%-60% correction in the equity market amid historical fears about another depression,” Paulenoff added.

Trump, on the other hand, is not in the right place. “He is touting the upside in equity markets, for which he is not responsible,” Paulenoff said.”And it’s ironic because the coming correction is also not his fault, but people will likely attribute it to him.”

Opinion: This, not Donald Trump, is the true revolution upending stock-market investing

InvestMy Thoughts on This:

Hysteria on Wall Street! The Crash is Coming! No, It’s NOT!

It’s refreshing to see behind the news and find an insight that serves to explain what’s probably going on. These comments by Howard Gold are probably close to the truth. NOT FAKE NEWS!

Published: Feb 1, 2017 by Howard Gold

Stocks have made big gains since Election Day on the hope President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress would cut regulations and taxes and boost growth. They sold off Monday and Tuesday after the president imposed a temporary ban on visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The ebbs and flows of Trump-related fear and euphoria fascinate Wall Street and the media—myself included—but they don’t matter much in the long run. Far more important, but getting almost no coverage, is a true revolution that’s upending investing—I think, for the better.

This sea change, which has developed over the last decade, consists of three big trends:
1. Investors have abandoned individual stocks for funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
2. They have dumped actively managed mutual funds for index funds.
3. They have flocked to target-date funds as vehicle of choice for retirement saving and investing.

How revolutionary is this?

A generation ago, investors bought baskets of individual stocks, often on the advice of a stockbroker or relative, with little regard for how they worked together. This culminated in the internet bubble of the 1990s when people thought they were diversified by owning tech highfliers Dell, Sun Microsystems, Altera, and Novellus Systems, all of which suffered huge losses in the dot-com crash.

That and the emergence of ETFs in the 2000s prompted investors to dump individual stocks en masse. According to the Investment Company Institute, U.S. households’ net investment in individual stocks fell by an amazing $3.35 trillion from 2006 to 2015. During that same period their investment in mutual funds, annuities, closed-end funds, and ETFs rose by $3.62 trillion.

It’s unlikely all the money that came out of individual stocks went directly into equivalent funds, but the trend is clear: “…Investors are moving from directly owning individual stocks to owning stocks through mutual funds,” including ETFs, Sarah Holden, ICI’s senior director, retirement and investor research, told me in an interview. That’s why I think stock pickers are a dying breed.

It makes sense: When elite hedge funds run by the world’s supposedly smartest money managers trailed the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.30% for the eighth consecutive year in 2016, how can amateur stock pickers hope to beat the market consistently?

But active mutual-fund managers also have an abysmal track record. There’s overwhelming evidence very few of them beat index funds over the long haul: A 2016 study by S&P Dow Jones Indices found that over a 10-year period, more than 80% of actively managed funds trailed their benchmarks.

Cost is the main reason, Vanguard founder Jack Bogle has long argued. Actively managed funds’ average expense ratio was 0.84% last year, according to ICI, while index funds averaged 0.11%. Some of Vanguard’s broadest U.S. stock index funds charge as little as 0.05%—a full percentage point less than many active stock funds. That difference really compounds over the years.

So, index funds now comprise 40% of total U.S. equity fund assets, double their share a decade ago. From 2006 to 2016, $1.1 trillion flowed out of actively managed U.S. equity funds and about the same amount went into similar index funds, in what Morningstar called a “remarkable exodus.” Last year, the flow became a torrent as passive funds took in a record $504.8 billion.

That dovetails with our third big trend. According to ICI, three-quarters of all 401(k) plans offer target-date retirement funds (funds of funds that rebalance as shareholders get closer to their specified retirement date), and the number of those funds has increased 3½ times over the past decade. From 2006 to 2015, assets rose more than tenfold, to $762.5 billion.

The Pension Protection Act of 2006, which eased automatic enrollment in 401(k) plans, and a subsequent Labor Department ruling that allowed target-date funds (TDFs) to be “default” investments in those plans spurred their explosive growth. TDFs’ ease of use makes them especially attractive to millennials, who are gobbling them up.

“I make one decision,” explained Holden at ICI. “I go into the TDF appropriate for my date, and…there’s a whole lot of work done for me in terms of keeping me diversified and then also rebalancing as we move toward retirement.”

A lazy solution? Maybe, but it also shows investors know their limitations, which is very wise.

So, it looks like we’re at an inflection point where most investors will jump into broad market indexes using set-it-and-forget-it TDFs as their principal method for retirement investing.

That’s bad for fund managers, stock pickers, newsletter writers, and media outlets that specialize in stock selection. But it’s good for millions of Americans who just want to save and invest for a decent retirement. It’s a drive towards diversification, automatic investing and rebalancing and simplicity—and who can argue with that?

This, quite simply, is the future of investing. The revolution is happening right now.

What You Should Know About Medicare Enrollment

health-is-wealthMy Comments: Medicare, along with a Medicare supplemental policy, is, for many millions of Americans, a critical element in their lives. I know it is in mine and that of my wife.

As longevity raises its sometimes ugly head, the ability to seek professional health care when the need arises, without having to worry about its cost, is a huge peace of mind element. This is a simple and effective introduction.

David J. Fernandez, CFP® February 1, 2017

One important area of planning for a successful retirement is to have adequate healthcare coverage, including Medicare. Healthcare costs have been escalating at over twice the rate of inflation for a number of years. For those wanting to retire prior to age 65, healthcare is typically one of the largest bridge expenses to cover until Medicare eligibility.

For most people, their health insurance is provided through their employer. Or, if self-employed, they likely own a private health insurance policy. But once you reach age 65, you have the opportunity to transition to the federal government’s Medicare healthcare system. This article will provide a quick overview of some of the options available, answer some frequently asked questions and provide some resources to help you navigate the system.

Medicare: the Four Parts
• Part A – Hospital insurance that provides coverage for inpatient hospital services, care received in skilled nursing facilities, hospice care and some home healthcare. There is no premium cost for this coverage. However, there are co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance when seeking medical care.
• Part B – Medical insurance that provides coverage for outpatient care such as doctors’ visits, laboratory and imaging tests, medical supplies and preventative services. There is a monthly premium which is automatically deducted from your monthly Social Security check. If you are not receiving Social Security benefits, your premium will be billed to you once a quarter. In 2017 the base premium is $134 per month. You may pay a larger premium if your annual income is higher. You can learn more about your potential premium costs in this article. Your Part B coverage generally covers 80% of your covered care expenses after a deductible has been met.
• Part C – Medicare Advantage Plans, which are Medicare-approved private insurer plans that typically provide medical coverage for Part A, Part B and often include prescription drug coverage. Many of these plans provide extra coverage and may lower out-of-pocket costs.
• Part D – Prescription drug coverage. This particular coverage is optional and has a monthly premium that varies depending on the plan you choose. Similar to Part B coverage, those with higher levels of income may pay higher premiums. The link to my article above provides a chart of premium surcharges for Parts B and D based on income level.

What is Medigap Insurance?

In addition to the options mentioned above, there are approximately 12 different private insurance plans which vary by state. These extra coverage plans are often referred to as Medicare supplemental insurance or Medigap. These policies are designed to fill in the coverage gaps found in original Medicare Parts A and B. A large percentage of those receiving Medicare are also enrolled in one of these policies.

When to Apply for Medicare

If you are already receiving Social Security benefits prior to turning age 65, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. If you are not receiving Social Security benefits, then you have a seven-month window to apply. You can apply three months prior to turning age 65, the month you turn 65, and up to three months after you turn 65. Your Medicare benefits will generally begin approximately one month after you enroll.

How to Apply for Medicare

You can enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B in the following ways:
• Online at http://www.SocialSecurity.gov
• By calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1212, Monday to Friday from 7a.m. to 7p.m.
• In person at your local Social Security office; it is recommended that you call first for an appointment.

Should Choose a Coverage Plan for Part C, Part D or a Medigap Policy?

Because each person has a unique health history with specific health coverage needs, you may want to consult with a local resource to help you compare and contrast your options. Every state offers a free health benefits counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries. You can search by your state for the local SHIP office (state health insurance assistance program). This is a valuable service available to answer all of your Medicare questions. You can also seek a private, independent health insurance broker that specializes in Medicare plans.

What if I Don’t Enroll on Time? Is There a Penalty?

If you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B (medical insurance) when you are first eligible at age 65, there is a 10% penalty for every 12 months you are not enrolled on time. The current base premium for part B is $134. Thus you would pay an extra 10% every month for this premium going forward. If you didn’t sign up for two years you would pay 20% extra every month for as long as you are enrolled in Part B.

What if I Had Health Coverage Provided by an Employer?

Medicare does provide an exception if you are covered under group healthcare via an employer, and therefore do not enroll on time. You need to provide a letter of credible coverage from your employer when you sign up and they will usually waive the penalty.

Additional Resources for Your Medicare Questions

Besides the SHIP link above, or an independent health insurance broker, another option is to call Medicare directly at 1-800-Medicare or 1-800-633-4227. If you prefer searching for your answers online, you can go directly to http://www.Medicare.gov.

Putting Clients Second

My Comments: Readers of my posts have seen me comment before on the proposed Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule that is scheduled to be implemented this coming April.

It’s directed toward anyone providing investment advice related to retirement accounts (with one major exception!). The rule says that anyone providing such advice must adhere to a fiduciary standard, similar to the fiduciary standards that apply to attorneys, doctors, and accountants, among others. Namely it must be in the clients’ best interest.

Now, in a manner consistent with so much that is emerging from the Trump White House, the DoL has been instructed to review and by inference, remove the new set of rules.

You may recognize the author below. He’s associated with the Vanguard Group, a company that manages over $3T (trillion) worldwide.

by John Bogle in the New York Times on Feb. 9, 2017

THE Trump administration recently announced that it intends to review, and presumably overturn, the Obama-era fiduciary duty rule that is scheduled to take effect in April. The administration’s case was articulated by Gary Cohn, the new director of the National Economic Council.

Mr. Cohn, most recently the president of Goldman Sachs, called it “a bad rule” and likened it to “putting only healthy food on the menu, because unhealthy food tastes good but you still shouldn’t eat it because you might die younger.” Comparing healthy and unhealthy food to healthy and unhealthy investments is an interesting analogy.

The now-endangered fiduciary rule is based on a simple — and seemingly unarguable — principle: that in giving advice to clients with retirement funds, stockbrokers, registered investment advisers and insurance agents must act in the best interests of their clients. Honestly, it seems counterproductive to go to war against such a fundamental principle. It simply doesn’t seem like a good business practice for Wall Street to tell its client-investors, “We put your interests second, after our firm’s, but it’s close.”

The annulment of the government’s fiduciary rule would clearly be a setback for investors trying to prepare for retirement. But the fiduciary principle itself will live on, and even spread.

The truth is, the existing proposal doesn’t go nearly far enough. It is limited to retirement plan accounts and ignores the other three-quarters of the assets owned by individual investors. Any effective rule must encompass all investors.

It is widely agreed that the fiduciary rule would give impetus to the growing use of lower-cost, broadly diversified index funds (pioneered by Vanguard, the company I founded), such as those tracking, with remarkable precision, the S&P 500 stock index. But even without the rule, there has already been a tidal shift to index funds — actually, more like a tsunami. Since 2008, mutual fund investors have liquidated more than $800 billion of their holdings in actively managed equity mutual funds and purchased about $1.8 trillion of equity index funds. Low-cost index funds are almost certainly what Mr. Cohn means when he refers to the “healthy food on the menu.”

Several major brokerage firms have already embraced the fiduciary principle, announcing plans to comply with the rule by eliminating front-end commissions (known as loads) on retirement plan accounts in favor of an annual asset charge. And dozens of companies have reacted to the proposed rule by creating a class of generally less costly mutual fund shares with initial loads of 2.5 percent followed by annual charges of 0.25 percent of total assets.

I do not envision these responses to the fiduciary rule being reversed. With or without regulation by the federal government, the principle of “clients first” is here to stay.

In the debate about the fiduciary rule, one basic fact has been largely ignored. Investment wealth is created by our public corporations and reflected in stock prices. Stock market returns are then allocated between the financial industry (Wall Street) and shareholders (Main Street). So when the consulting firm A. T. Kearney projected that the fiduciary rule would result in as much as $20 billion in lost revenue for the industry by 2020, it meant that net investment returns for investors would increase by $20 billion.

By any definition, that’s a social good.

One must wonder how Wall Street, broadly defined, has been able to defy the interests of its millions of clients for so long. After all, 241 years ago, Adam Smith concluded that “consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer.”

In other words, it is in Wall Street’s interest to promote the interests of its clients. As Smith put it: “The maxim is so perfectly self-evident that it would be absurd to attempt to prove it.”

Make no mistake. The demise of the fiduciary rule would be a step backward for our nation, allowing Wall Street to continue to profit by providing conflicted advice at the expense of working Americans saving for retirement.

But the principles of fiduciary duty are strengthening. Investor awareness grows with each passing day. The nation’s investors are already awakening to the role of low costs and broad diversification, and understand that long-term investing is a far more profitable strategy than short-term trading.

The fiduciary rule may fade away, but the fiduciary principle is eternal. The arc of investing is long, but it bends toward fiduciary duty.