Frank Gallagher is after your retirement savings.

Frank Gallagher is the perfect metaphor for state governments and Wall Street when it comes to retirement pensions.

If you’re not a regular viewer of the television show Shameless you are missing a great portrayal of one of the most amoral human beings in the history of entertainment.

That would be Frank Gallagher, played by the wonderful William H. Macy.

Frank is the father of a barely-working class, struggling Chicago south side family, the likes of which makes the word dysfunctional seem wholly inadequate.

But it is Frank I want to focus on here.

Frank Gallagher is a drunk and drug addicted soul whose only reason to actually get a job is to scam some workman’s comp within the first day of work.

In fact, in one episode he takes a job because it requires him to breathe toxic fumes. But when he discovers it would take years to get sick enough to collect on it, he grabs a staple gun and staples his hand to a wall.

The time he is not spending on getting sotted at The Alibi, the local pub, he is working on separating somebody, mostly women, from their savings accounts. Or their meds.

I couldn’t help thinking of Frank Gallagher as I heard about Donald Trump’s plan to toss out a simple reform negotiated under the Obama administration called the Fiduciary Rule.

The Fiduciary Rule was an attempt to keep Wall Street from acting totally like Frank Gallagher when it comes to our retirement savings and investments.

It would require financial advisors to act in their clients’ best interests.

Crazy, right?

The United States Chamber of Commerce has advised Trump to dump the rule.

We are urging immediate action to undo the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule. If enacted, it would choke economic growth, increase frivolous litigation against financial advisers, and make saving for retirement more difficult for hardworking Americans.

Damn! That “more difficult for hardworking Americans” part is exactly the hustle Frank Gallagher would use.

The Labor Department estimates that if enacted, the Fiduciary Rule  will cost industry $16 billion over the next decade, but that it will save IRA investors more than $33 billion.

It seems that by electing Donald Trump, we just invited Frank Gallagher into every current and future retiree’s home.

3 Replies to “Frank Gallagher is after your retirement savings.”

  1. Really what needs to happen is people need to be their own best fiduciary. Financial classes need to be part of the curriculum in as early as elementary school. This is how you get Wall street out of the equation.

    1. That’s part of the story Jack. But many of us who cannot live on our pensions alone and who have retirement savings should not be expected to suddenly engage in the business of investing. It’s a crummy system, but the person I rely on should be legally required to represent my interests. Be my agent, not the seller’s agent.

  2. People take an overly simplistic view of this type of legislation. You have a bad teacher and then extrapolate that to all teachers are bad. Now you have a rogue financial adviser and all financial advisers are bad. Both assumptions are ridiculous. Risk equals reward. Take no risk and you go broke, but slowly. Take risk and you could do well for yourself in terms of return, but if a market correction happens at a bad time for you, then suddenly your advisor is bad or corrupt. That’s equally ridiculous. I do what’s best for my clients, but God forbid one of them should lose money in a market correction, because I fear they would or could sue me because the work risk to them is simply a concept.

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