Robots have invaded the world of financial advising. Today hundreds of online programs are available, promising sage retirement and financial investment advice at the click of a button.
That brings us to our first question: What Is a Robo-Advisor?
Woodstock Institute celebrated victory in the successful defense of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) rule on prepaid cards against a repeal effort by Georgia Senator David Perdue. Sen. Perdue had attempted to do away with CFPB’s finalized prepaid rule through the Congressional Review Act, a law which enables Congress to roll back federal regulations.
On March 2 the Department of Labor published a proposed rule to delay for 60 days the implementation of its fiduciary rule. Woodstock has written frequently on this essential rule (see most recently our article on February 9, 2017), which requires investment advisors to put first the interests of customers rather than provide conflicted advice to make bigger commissions and profits for advisors. If the rule becomes effective, it will provide a crucial safeguard for the millions of Americans who put their trust in investment advisers as they save for retirement.
It has been a dizzying couple of weeks following the new administration’s series of actions and appointments that are likely to roll back protections for workers, retires, consumers, refugees, and others. Although Woodstock Institute is nonpartisan and has not published separate responses to each unfortunate action, appointment, tweet, and misstatement of facts, we have been working closely with allies across the country to demonstrate support for many of the well-researched policies that are under attack.
It has been a busy and productive 2016 here at Woodstock Institute. What follows is far from an exhaustive account of Woodstock’s policy and research activities over the year. It’s just a quick survey of some of the “greatest hits.”
This past year was a doozy! We made some significant progress on many fronts (see our Year in Review and below), but now much of that progress is threatened by the results of the election and the likelihood that people hostile to Woodstock Institute’s financial justice mission will be holding the reins of power. We are determined to defend and extend our progress and fight hard next year.