On February 3rd, President Trump signed an Executive Order delaying the fiduciary rule that requires financial advisers to disclose conflicts of interest and eliminate hidden fees. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer recently bashed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which was set up in the wake of the recent financial crisis to protect consumers. Moreover, Rep. Hensarling (R-TX), chair of the House Financial Services Committee, plans to move forward with legislation to substantially reduce the strength of the CFPB. In its short six-year tenure, the CFPB has returned over $11 billion to wronged consumers, fined offending companies over $500 million, and provided the means for consumers to reach an agency to help them. In the past six years alone there have been more than 1 million complaints filed, and over 9% of the U.S. population has received relief from a CFPB enforcement action. Here is a link to a petition you can sign imploring Congress not to gut the CFPB.
This week, we donated to Operation Hope, a non-profit organization that brings financial literacy to low-wealth communities. They serve 4,000 inner-city schools and 500 low-wealth communities. Operation Hope teaches young people basic financial literacy with the goal of helping prevent the vicious cycle of poverty. This robust organization strives to make free enterprise work for everyone. They empower youth to speak the “global language of money” and become informed participants in economic exchanges, including launching small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures.
Executive actions against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau do not just affect some of us — these actions could negatively affect ALL of us. It is alarming that this Executive Order so blatantly favors Wall Street croneyism while harming the hard-working Americans of Main Street. When you get down to it, money is a resource of empowerment. In these times, we believe it is more important than ever for us as individuals to educate ourselves about our finances and stay vigilant to conflicts of interest — and to do everything we can to help educate and equip each other. Our economy is a complex web that connects us all, and we are stronger together.