Should Dave Ramsey Be Regulated?


The Department of Labor's pending regulation concerning financial planners who handle retirement accounts has caused some concern that popular media figures like Dave Ramsey might be censored.

Elder law advocates have long been concerned that people who receive bad or self-interested advice from financial and retirement planners have little, practical recourse. If someone follows bad advice about managing an IRA, then that person loses much needed retirement savings.

In an effort to address this concern the Department of Labor has proposed a regulation that would treat advisors as fiduciaries. As the reasoning goes, this would make it easier to hold them responsible for the advice they give.

Recently, talk radio host Dave Ramsey took to Twitter to criticize the regulation as Forbes reports in "How Fiduciary Rule May Censor Financial Broadcasters Like Dave Ramsey."

On his radio program Ramsey takes calls from listeners who give him a brief overview of a financial concern they have. Ramsey then offers advice. Sometimes Ramsey's advice is general, but depending on the question Ramsey's advice is sometimes very specific.

Some people believe the proposed regulation is broad enough that Ramsey and others in the media like him could fall under it. In turn, this regulation would effectively censor the type of advice that could be given without subjecting "Dave Ramseys" and others like him to potential liability.

Opinions are divided regarding whether these media figures should be regulated.

Critics say it will impede the free flow of discussion and ideas about financial matters. Supporters claim that since people rely on and act on the advice given, there should be a duty to give good advice.

Reference: Forbes (March 4, 2016) "How Fiduciary Rule May Censor Financial Broadcasters Like Dave Ramsey."

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