It seems like the American public has been hearing about the need for financial reform for almost two years now, and on Wednesday President Obama finally signed a package of sweeping changes into law. It has been called the greatest overhaul of the financial industry since the Great Depression, and while the pundits will continue to debate whether the legislation has too many teeth or not enough, I began to question for myself the impact of the changes on the average American.
The financial crisis rocked the American economy and profoundly shook the public’s faith in financial institutions, and whatever the merits of the new law, it is unlikely to restore people’s confidence any time soon. While I’m not looking to defend Wall Street, I do want to point out that there are countless qualified, honest men and women in the financial planning industry who continue to keep their clients’ best interests at heart. Misleading fine print and deceptive techniques have never been in our repertoire, so I doubt the new consumer protections will change the way we do business.