Be Wary of "Free" Financial Advice - It Can be Costly

Note: This article is courtesy of

By George Guerin

For most people, the money saved in their 401(k) is their single largest retirement asset aside from the equity in their home. It’s no wonder the Department of Labor (DOL) recently made an important ruling regarding how these assets are handled by financial advisors.

In its original form, the DOL fiduciary rule required anyone selling financial products for retirement plans to act as fiduciaries—meaning they would be legally bound to always act in the best interest of the client.

It even went so far as to propose banning the sale of certain high-commission products into these plans. As a fee-only registered investment advisor, I already am committed to putting our clients’ best interests above our own, so I was all for the proposed changes. I’ve seen too many people buy insurance products without knowing that the salesperson did not have the client’s best interest in mind.