‘Customers 1st’ to become law in retirement investing

By Around the Web

(New York Times) The rules governing how financial professionals handle the trillions of dollars they invest on behalf of Americans saving for retirement are about to get a lot tougher.

The Labor Department, after years of battling Wall Street and the insurance industry, issued new regulations on Wednesday that will require financial advisers and brokers handling individual retirement and 401(k) accounts to act in the best interests of their clients.

The government move is expected to encourage a shift of retirement funds into lower-cost investments — potentially saving billions of dollars for many ordinary investors — while setting off one of the biggest upheavals in the financial services industry in decades.

“The marketing material that I see from many firms is, ‘We put our customers first,'” Thomas E. Perez, the secretary of labor, said in an interview. “This is no longer a marketing slogan. It’s the law.”

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