Solutions 4 Financial Independence: 06/22/17

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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Question: "You seem to have a lot of knowledge on the Department of Labor ruling. Now that it is finally in effect, who do you think it will impact most."

Answer: (John Halterman, Beacon Wealth Management) "The Department of Labor ruling is actually one of the biggest rulings in our industry of all time. For those who are not aware of what it is, basically, the Department of Labor wants advisers now to do a couple of things.

“Number one, they want to act in the best interest of the client and document why it's the best interest. The second thing they want is, they want level compensation. The third thing is they prefer a process. All three of those combined are really a big a big deal when you're an insider in the industry.

“Who doesn't impact the most? I think the clear winner is the client because now the advisers, who are out there just selling product can't necessarily do that. They have to document the processes. They have to show why something was in the best interest of the client versus just going out there and saying ‘hey I got a product to sell.’

“The clear loser in this is actually the advisor, or should I even call them an advisor? A salesman who is very product oriented. As for that person, (they) didn't always operate in the best interest of the client. That person a lot of times was very commission focused and now they're not going to be able to operate like that. So from their standpoint, it's going to be a struggle to stay in the business, which is a positive thing because in our industry.

“I've always felt that our industry had a lot of people who had tremendous knowledge. Unfortunately, like all industries, it had some people who just really weren't qualified to be in our industry."

Question: "How does it impact your firm specifically?"

Answer: (John Halterman, Beacon Wealth Management) "From my standpoint we don't really have an impact because we've always acted in a fiduciary capacity. So from our advisory business, we've always followed a well-defined process.

“That actually got us down to the point of what's the best recommendation for the client. We've never been sales oriented so we've always been solution-based. Solution-based boils down to just really making sure you listen to the client. Making sure you understand the client and follow a well-defined process so that you can create the best possible outcome that you can for the client's sake."