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Friday Financial Five – April 8, 2016

Friday, April 08, 2016


DOL fiduciary ruling at last

The Department of Labor has finally made the fiduciary standard the law of the land for financial advice. While it may seem natural to assume financial advisers are working in their clients’ best interest, the amount of time it took for DOL’s ruling indicates otherwise. Effective January 2018, financial professionals must act in their clients’ best interest. While technically only referring to retirement accounts, it is expected that this will be the standard across the wealth management landscape. 

Savings attributed to the fiduciary ruling

A hugely important factor in the DOL ruling is the expense the government felt could be curtailed by applying the fiduciary standard industry-wide. The department anticipates IRA holders will gain over $30 billion over the next decade thanks to the implementation rule. On the flip side, the added costs for companies to comply with the rule will amount to between $10 and $31 billion over the next ten years. 

Court finds Metlife is not too big to fail

A judge has overturned the government’s assessment that Metlife is a systemically important financial institution. Being labeled “too big to fail”, which leads to more stringent capital requirements, had Met looking at separating different lines of business. In the court process, Metlife argued that the methodology used by the Financial Stability Oversight Committee (FSOC) was not prudent and the judge agreed that the government’s ruling was “arbitrary and capricious”. The FSOC will appeal the ruling and it remains to be seen if other insurance companies, including AIG and Prudential, will go down the same path.

Ranking states’ financial literacy

People are trying to get more familiar with money, borrowing, credit, and investing. Wallethub’s  2016 list ranking states in terms of financial literacy indicates there’s still room for improvement, as twenty percent of respondents still spend more than they make. New Hampshire grabs the top spot thanks to a number one ranking in planning and daily habits, while Massachusetts dropped to thirty-five and Rhode Island ranked forty-second.

Over 40% of student borrowers aren’t paying

The trillion dollars outstanding in student loans is an issue, especially with the continued delinquency on the payment for this debt. Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, over 40% of government backed loan borrowers aren’t paying or are late on their payment. This number doesn’t include the huge surge in borrowers that enrolled in a distressed repayment plan. In all, the total amount of borrowed dollars in delinquency is over $200 billion.


Dan Forbes, a CFP Board Ambassador, is a regular contributor on financial issues. He leads the firm Forbes Financial Planning, Inc in East Greenwich, RI and can be reached at [email protected]


Related Slideshow: Oregon Business Rankings in US

See how Oregon stacked up against the other states in the U.S.

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Oregon gets a C+ for small business friendliness from Thumbtack, in conjunction with the Kauffman Foundation.

According to the ranking:

Overall friendliness C+

Ease of starting a business B
Ease of hiring D+
Regulations D
Health & safety D
Employment, labor & hiring D
Tax code D+
Licensing C-
Environmental D
Zoning D+
Training & networking programs B+

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CEO Magazine

CEO magazine was not kind to Oregon.

The state ranked in the bottom ten states at #42.

Oregon get lumped by CEO's as being California like - too much regulation.

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The 2015 rankings puts Oregon in the top 20. Oregon ranks #18 in the United States. 

NY ranks one spot ahead at #17 and Florida ranks after Oregon.

#1 in the United States: Utah

#50 in the United States: Mississippi

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Oregon has been ranked as the 2nd most eco-friendly state in the country, according to a recent study by WalletHub

Oregon ranks eighth in environmental quality and first in Eco-Friendly Behaviors landing them in second overall. 

Oregon is behind Vermont and ahead of New York and Minnesota who land in the third and fourth spots respectively. 

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The Economist

Small Business Friendliness Grade: C+

The Economist grades states on an A+ to F grading scale for its small business climate. Oregon is one of 4 states that earned a "C+"

Overbearing bureaucracy and excessive licensing is stifling small business in America. 

Read More About The Economist Grade Here

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#22 CNBC

CNBC ranks each state in cost of doing business, economy, technology and innovation.

Read More About CNBC Ranking Here

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Wallet Hub

#28 Wallet Hub

Wallet Hub ranks each state in ROI rank, state tax rank, and overall government services.

Read More About Wallet Hub Ranking Here

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#38 Kauffman Foundation

Kauffman Foundation ranks each state in entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial activity generally is highest in Western and Southern states and lowest in Midwestern and Northeastern states.

Read More About Kauffman Ranking Here

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#19 Forbes in 2014

Forbes ranks each state in business costs, economic climate, and growth prospects.

Read More About Forbes Rankings Here


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