January 2008 NewsLetter

I realized that it’s been so long since I started my NewsLetter, most of you won’t know its origins. To bring you up to date, here’s the intro to the first one.

In the fall of 2007, I started doing a NewsLetter for our firm’s professional friends (e.g., accountants and attorneys). Not exactly a traditional “Newsletter”; more a compilation of tidbits and commentary on a potpourri of items I find interesting. I called it a NewsLetter to emphasize that my goal is to provide succinct but interesting, fun and potentially useful “news.” To my pleasant surprise, the response of recipients has been very positive and a number of clients who don’t fall into the “professional” category but have been shown a copy by their accountants or attorneys have asked “How about us?” Good question. The model for my NewsLetter came from a friend who had designed his own letter for professionals. Now, having been asked to expand my audience (compliments always work for me), I’ve decided to experiment with a more general version in which you don’t have to wade through selected IRS code sections or recent court rulings.

So, welcome to the current version. Hope you enjoy.


The Department of Labor published a notice indicating that it was sending a new fiduciary rule to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, the standard step required for a regulatory review before it’s released to the public for comment. Entitled “Improving Investment Advice for Workers & Retirees Exemption” [right!], the new rule is expected to take a step back from the prior DOL fiduciary rule that was vacated in 2017, and instead to hew closely to the SEC’s own Regulation Best Interest rule. Not a big surprise as the current Department of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia was one of the attorneys leading the industry’s lawsuit against the prior fiduciary rule. Don’t forget to have your adviser sign the Fiduciary Oath that I’ll paste to the end of this musing.

Thanks to Michel Kitces’ excellent Weekend Reading for Financial Planners for the update.