The Derivative Project

Department of Labor

Betterment Brexit Trading Halt Shines Light on Abusive Broker Dealer Practices in ERISA Brokerage Accounts

Betterment Brexit Trading Halt Shines Light on Abusive Broker Dealer Practices in ERISA Brokerage Accounts

“These Customers Were Put at a Great Disadvantage” regulator says… The markets were abuzz when Betterment, a “robo advisor” blocked access to their customer accounts with no warning, as the Wall Street Journal reported on July 2, “Robo Adviser Betterment Stokes Concern Over Brexit Trading Halt,” following the UK’s decision to…

DOL and New Fiduciary Duty – What’s Changed?  Nada

DOL and New Fiduciary Duty – What’s Changed? Nada

FINRA and Disputing “Chasing Windmills” With over $14 billion in retirement accounts, Wall Street (the SEC’s FINRA) is charged with protecting IRA investors, from sales personnel steering their retirement assets into inappropriate products and/or high fee products and enforcing all securities laws, passed by Congress. The financial services industry inappropriately labeled sales…

Labor Day 2015:  Progress from the White House, Barriers from Media Increase

Labor Day 2015: Progress from the White House, Barriers from Media Increase

Lack of Transparency on Cost-Effective Retirement Investment Selection is Fueled by Wall Street’s Advertising that Controls Media and Consumer Message Labor Day 2014, The Derivative Project wrote on the loss of defined benefit pensions and the emergence of intermediaries that are siphoning off billions from American’s retirement nest eggs, without adding…

Trending: Are Bloomberg, Huff Post, Rolling Stone Promoting Phony Consumer Retirement Advocates?

Trending: Are Bloomberg, Huff Post, Rolling Stone Promoting Phony Consumer Retirement Advocates?

Summary of Issue – January 13 White House Memo on Conflicts of Interest -StockBroker or “Fiduciary” Advisor Registered with the SEC On January 13th, a five page White House memo, “Draft Conflict of Interest Rule for Retirement Savings”, by Jason Furman and Betsey Stevenson, argued that the costs of conflicted advice are…

Congressional Capture Hasn’t Captured Senator Al Franken

Congressional Capture Hasn’t Captured Senator Al Franken

Regulatory capture is rampant, fueling the ongoing retirement crisis and the ongoing skimming of American’s retirement nest eggs by Wall Street financial intermediaries.  There is also a shocking proliferation of Congressional Capture.  As Firedoglake wrote, “Wall Street Lobbyists Literally Writing Bills in Congress.” There are so very few in Congress…

Yale Professor Ayres’ Proposed DOL Financial Sophistication Test is Brillant – Part II

Yale Professor Ayres’ Proposed DOL Financial Sophistication Test is Brillant – Part II

The Whys Behind Super Normal Profits for Wall Street in 401k Plans:   What is Yale Professor Ayres’ proposed solution to protect consumers from Wall Street shenanigans in 401k plans?  Double down!  Now that the facts and transparency are coming out about the skimming, over the last 30 years, from workers’…

Yale Professor Ayres’ Proposed DOL Financial Sophistication Test is Brilliant – Part I

Yale Professor Ayres’ Proposed DOL Financial Sophistication Test is Brilliant – Part I

Yale Professor Ian Ayres has the solution for any retirement investor that might dare to opt-out of a poorly performing 401k plan default option and seek to select an investment that is in his or her best interest.  Here is the link to his proposal, in a February 2014 white…

It’s Financial Literacy Month:  Ignore Wall Street Workplace Curriculum

It’s Financial Literacy Month: Ignore Wall Street Workplace Curriculum

Bloomberg, New York Times, CNBC and your workplace 401k/403b “financial education curriculum” are all designed to keep the the financial services industry booming, on your Nickel.  Control of the media message, Congress, billions of dollars of advertising and the workplace curriculum have prevented normal supply and demand forces to operate…

What to Make of Pinnacle Advisory Group’s Fee Pyramid:  Your Road Map to Retirement Financial Advice Fees

What to Make of Pinnacle Advisory Group’s Fee Pyramid: Your Road Map to Retirement Financial Advice Fees

Mr. Kitces tweeted this article today on a recent study done by Vanguard, that contends that an Advisor adds 3 % to an investor’s returns. Are retirement investors at Pinnacle Advisory Group, that pay 3.30% in “advice” fees, actually falling below industry benchmarks, after mutual fund or managed account fees,…