Perspectives: The DOL’s Fiduciary Rule and the Point of RIIA®’s “View Across the Silos℠”

The question RIIA® asked itself a while back was what does every adviser, broker-dealer, investment product producer, and most importantly, every consumer need.  The really simple answer: Complete Information.

So RIIA did the research, validated it, and now teaches the use of the Household Balance Sheet (HHBS) in the retirement planning process.  RIIA’s Household  Balance Sheet View℠ was fully developed long before the DOL’s proposal of a Rule reemerged on the scene.

It really didn’t take much to recognize that America had a rapidly growing percentage of its population looking forward to retirement.  Thus, all the question points of the HHBS were crafted to get the information for key and secondary assets, needs and liabilities – savings, living quarters, healthcare; dependents to name just a few.

And then came the now current final DOL Fiduciary Rule, so while the HHBS was always designed to serve consumers’ needs, it was specifically designed to serve the silo industries.  An unanticipated high value became apparent.

As a result of its inclusiveness, it can be the foundation for fulfilling various elements of the Best Interest Contract standards and requirements.  Whatever “best interest” means as it relates to the advice element, it provides the tools for building a retirement future.  If you don’t have a ladder you can’t install windows for a beautiful view or ventilation.  To carry the analogy a little further, potential retirees are living on the top floors of longevity.

The RIIA process and training further include the Procedural Prudence Map.  As coupled with the HHBS, they provide essential information and guidance on how to address major elements of the Best Interest Standard.  Thus, the silo groups that interact with consumers are prepared to provide Best Interest services, including the “reasonable compensation” element of the standard.  Not to be minimized, they also contribute to the investment product producers’ information for designing saleable products.

Completeness is a key theme with RIIA.   RIIA surveys its RMA® graduates, institutional members, individual members and industry clients to track the need for quality advice, its key dimensions (including scope and coverage) and the priorities for the development of features, including for planning software, and data elements for data collection platforms.

Sign up to attend RIIA’s 2016 Summer Conference RIIA’s Summer Conference in Salem, “Minding the Gaps:  Helping People Move Where They Need to Be,” to find out more.  The conference will take place July 18-19, 2016 at Salem State University (SSU) in Salem, MA, 20 miles north of Boston.  It will focus on helping people move to where they need to be in their retirement planning.  Click here for the agenda.


Joan E. Boros, Esq.
RIIA Board Secretary
Stradley Ronon Stevens and Young, LLP

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