You may have heard of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), a United States federal law enacted in 1980 (amended in 1995) designed to reduce the total amount of paperwork burden the federal government imposes on private businesses and citizens. Unfortunately, as many of you may have experienced in recent months, this does not pertain to the financial services industry.
With recent, and upcoming, regulations and rulings being handed down by the Department of Labor and other various governing bodies, the financial services industry is many trees away from ‘reduced paperwork’. In fact, now more than ever, additional forms and disclosures are being added to the pile of documents needed and necessary to open new accounts, maintain and update existing accounts, and disclose available options for IRA rollovers.
If you have ever watched the original Star Trek television series, you may feel like you are in the episode “Trouble With Tribbles” (substitute paper), I know I certainly do at times because my desk and all surrounding areas are covered with forms. So when you feel like you have signed enough forms to buy a house, when all you really wanted to do was invest your money, know that you are not in it alone. Just yesterday, I received my monthly statement and, as I pulled it out of the envelope, yet another disclosure (Mutual Fund Share Class Disclosure) fell to the floor.
While it may seem that all of these forms are ‘over kill’ and ‘unnecessary’, in the end, they are there to protect you, the investor, as well as us, the consultant. So even though all of the additional forms were not of our making, we, at The Volkers Group, feel it is important to accurately and completely disclose information to our clients in order for them to make the best possible choice for their particular situation. The more complete and accurate the information is, the easier it is for you, the client, to be able to make informed decisions regarding your financial future. Simply stated by Francis Bacon, “Knowledge is Power”.
For those of you who have already experienced being “re-papered”, thank you for your understanding and patience. For those of you yet to join in on the fun, enjoy the beautiful fall season while you wait your turn.
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