Best interest should cover IRAs

I always believed that former employees were better off rolling out their 401(k) money into a rollover. I still do. When my wife changed jobs about a year ago, it was probably the first thing she did.

Years ago, I had money in my old law firm’s 401(k) plan. I met a broker who I was networking with, who sparked my interest in a rollover. His firm was selling a REIT for long-term stay hotels. I made the switch, unwisely. While the stock market tanked, my rollover IRA was parked at a REIT that wasn’t publicly traded and pretty much, inaccessible. It eventually fell under an SEC complaint against the brokerage firm. The broker I used, switched jobs and joined another broker-dealer. I hung up on him when he disparaged the investment that he previously sold me. I never heard from that guy, ever again.

While most advisors work in the best interest of plan participants, I support the best interest exemption, applying to rollovers. Shame on me for being sold a high-commission product, but more innocent participants should be protected.

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