Looking Back; Looking Forward

Submitted by Keith Loveland - Professional Issues Committee

Election Day has come and gone. As of the writing of this article, Hillary Clinton received 63,541,056 votes; Donald Trump received 61,864,015 votes – 1,647,041 fewer votes. Donald Trump is expected to receive the necessary votes of the Electors on December 19th and become our 45th President. He will have a Republican Senate and House of Representatives after his inauguration on Friday, January 20, 2017.

What would – or could – President Trump do regarding the Department of Labor's recently adopted fiduciary rule governing investment advice?

Mr. Trump said during his campaigning that ‘as many as 70% of federal regulations would be on the chopping block’ if he were to be elected. Will Mr. Trump keep his promise to bring significant change to the existing regulatory landscape? Might the Trump Administration attempt to use an expedited legislative procedure under the Congressional Review Act to undo existing regulations?

Aside from the fiduciary issue, what should we expect?  Should we expect Trump’s campaign promises to become part of his legislative agenda? Repeal of the Affordable Care Act? Tax cuts? Trade tariffs? Deportations? A Muslim ‘registry’?

What other issues might our clients face in 2017 – and beyond?

In my opinion, many of the hot issues of 2016 will carry over into 2017. The two below will be very important, in my opinion.

Cybersecurity will continue to be an important issue, with privacy of client information being at risk for those firms that are hacked. Regulators have been warning our profession for years that we must have policies, procedures, and plans – anyone who has not taken the cybersecurity threat seriously – and the regulatory warnings to heart could be in for a rough year.

Financial abuse and exploitation of Seniors will continue to be front burner, in my opinion.  On a very closely related issue, many fiduciaries are struggling with the issue of whether we – the financial planners and financial professionals – have a duty to assess whether our clients have suffered such a decline in their cognitive abilities so as to be unable to give competent directions regarding their financial affairs. We all should be following Federal and State of Minnesota legislation regarding ‘Safe Senior’ laws.