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    Dr. Marcinko is originally from Loyola University MD, Temple University in Philadelphia and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in PA; as well as Oglethorpe University and Emory University in Georgia, the Atlanta Hospital & Medical Center; Kellogg-Keller Graduate School of Business and Management in Chicago, and the Aachen City University Hospital, Koln-Germany. He became one of the most innovative global thought leaders in medical business entrepreneurship today by leveraging and adding value with strategies to grow revenues and EBITDA while reducing non-essential expenditures and improving dated operational in-efficiencies.

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    As a state licensed life, P&C and health insurance agent; and dual SEC registered investment advisor and representative, Marcinko was Founding Dean of the fiduciary and niche focused CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER® chartered professional designation education program; as well as Chief Editor of the three print format HEALTH DICTIONARY SERIES® and online Wiki Project.

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The New DOL Rule Survey

A Conversation?

[By Rick Kahler MS CFP®]

I recently learned about an unexpected response to the new Department of Labor rule which mandates that all financial advisors and brokers act as fiduciaries (that is, in the best interest of the consumer) when dealing with customers’ retirement plans.

This means brokers will be discouraged from selling high fee and commission products to a customer’s IRA or similar retirement plan. The ruling may force many brokers to revamp for IRA products that have lower fees and commissions.

The Survey

However, according to a J. D. Power survey as reported in Financial Planning, customers are not happy with their brokers charging them lower fees. While the survey found that the clients of fee-only advisors were “generally more satisfied with what they pay their firm,” it also found that commission-based clients are going to leave in droves if their advisors switch to a lower-cost, fee-only model.

Let me get this straight

A broker who until now has owed no fiduciary duty to the customer, and who sells high fee and commission products to that customer, will now be forced by their company to place the consumer’s interest first. When dealing with the customer’s IRA, the broker cannot receive commissions and can only earn a lower fee. The broker places a low-fee product in the client’s IRA.

The result?

The client is so upset they will take their business to another firm.

According to J. D. Powers, that is correct. Their survey says around 60% of the customers of brokerage firms that may have to switch to fee-only when dealing with customer’s IRAs will “probably” or “definitely” take their business to another firm.



I am imagining the following conversation between a customer and a broker


“Because of the new DOL regulations I can no longer sell you a high fee and commission variable annuity to be owned by your IRA. To comply with the ruling, my company has eliminated the 7% upfront commission on this annuity; we will now charge you a 1% annual fee. They also reduced the annual management expenses from 3% to 1%. Plus, now any advice I give you or product I recommend must be in your best interests.”


“So you are eliminating the upfront 7% commission and replacing that with a 1% annual fee, which means 7% more of my money immediately goes to work for me in the investment, right?”


“That’s right.”


 “And instead of the upfront commission you are charging a new 1% annual fee, but reducing the annual management costs of the investments from 3% to 1%. So I’ll still make an additional 1% every year I own this, in addition to saving 7% up front, right?”


“That’s right.”


 “And further, you’re now going to look out for my best interests rather than the best interests of your company.”




“This is ridiculous. I’m outta here!”


“Where are you going?”


“To find a firm that will continue to sell me high commission, high fee products for my IRA and that will work against my best interests!”


“You probably won’t find any. Every financial company selling investment products to IRAs has to comply.”


 “I’ll find someone, somewhere. Goodbye!”


This defies all logic. I can only make up stories as to why the survey found the majority of brokerage customers would leave. Might some believe the new fees would cost them more than they currently pay?

My best assumption is that there was no explanation of what “fee-only” or “fiduciary” meant. So, if the results of the J. D. Power survey don’t make a lot of sense to you, join the crowd.


Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, urls and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: marcinkoadvisors@msn.com


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About Fiduciary Benchmarks, Inc

Independent Custom Benchmark Groups

By Staff Reportersfp-book1

Department of Labor [DOL] regulations under ERISA, and specifically pending section 408(b)(2), requires that retirement plan sponsors obtain fee disclosures for their plans and that all fees be “reasonable” for services provided.

Fiduciary Benchmarks, Inc. [FBi] was launched to support plan sponsors, advisors, consultants, record-keepers and other plan service providers in addressing this obligation. Fiduciary Benchmarks helps document a thorough and objective process and well-informed decisions. This is an increasingly important topic for hospitals, healthcare systems, CXOs, CFOs, sponsoring medical entities and many modern physician-executives.


Fiduciary Benchmarks, Inc was founded in October 2007 with the express purpose of providing pension and retirement plan benchmarking services. The genesis of the firm was recognition by FBi principals that the marketplace did not have an efficient and affordable way to help plan sponsors meet their fiduciary obligation to determine if plan fees are reasonable.

Progressing Past Current Approaches

Existing marketplace approaches to assessing fee reasonableness (including the use of simple averages books, issuing RFIs, participating in a mock RFPs or actually taking a plan to market) were falling short in terms of validity and/or the time, effort and disruption involved. These gaps continue today.

FBi Modern Approaches

FBi spent more than a year sharing their methodology and reports with the marketplace. They solicited and considered feedback from record-keepers and TPAs, advisors, consultants, independent auditors and ERISA attorneys. As a result, products are claimed to be well vetted and improved.

Link: http://www.fiduciarybenchmarks.com

Fiduciary Report [The Duty to Use Outside Sources]

“Fiduciaries are not expected to be experts. They may reasonably rely on the assistance of others in performing required investigation of and data gathering process. One of the key issues in determining whether reliance on the expert is reasonable is whether the expert is independent and unbiased.”

-Fred Reish


In order to remain independent and conflict free, FBi does not perform any traditional investment consulting, plan monitoring and/or record-keeper search work. FBi offers benchmarking services, where desired, by plan sponsors, directly. Fiduciary Benchmarks, Inc. is a completely independent company.


And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated; especially from FAs, wealth managers, CPAs, CFAs and CMPs™? Experienced customer opinions are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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