The Long View
The Long View
Jun 12, 2019
Aron Szapiro: 'You Can't Fix What You Can't Measure'
51 min

Is there a retirement crisis in the United States, and what role does the government have in improving the system? What's the current status of a fiduciary standard for financial advice? 

Aron Szapiro, Morningstar's director of policy research and our guest for The Long View podcast, obsesses over these topics. In his role, he and his team conduct research on various matters of public policy and formulate views on policy proposals under consideration by Congress and regulatory bodies. Szapiro has testified before Congress, and he has an inside view of how Washington works: Before venturing into the private sector, he was a senior analyst in the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and he also worked for the New Jersey state legislature. 

In this wide-ranging interview, Szapiro defines Morningstar's approach to policy research and homes in on some of the policy matters dominating our discourse today: whether financial advisors should be held to a fiduciary standard, how the U.S. retirement system might be improved, and whether meaningful retirement legislation can make it through partisan gridlock in Washington. 

This conversation was recorded on April 30, 2019. Since then, the House passed the SECURE Act (on May 23); that legislation has provisions related to annuities in 401(k) plans, multiple employer plans, and required minimum distributions. As of June 11, 2019, the provisions have not passed the Senate. And the Securities and Exchange Commission approved a final version of Regulation Best Interest, which aims to hold broker/dealers to a higher standard of care than was previously required.

Show Notes and References

Background and Professional Development
Szapiro's trajectory into policy research: "It was this arcane language that I wanted to understand." (1:15-2:39)

10 Millennials Making Their Mark on Washington and Beyond 

Policy Research
What policy means at Morningstar and for investors: "Policy really drives and dictates a lot of what ends up happening to investors." (2:40-4:55)

How his team avoids conflicts with Morningstar's business interests: "What would be best for investors and what evidence do we have to support that position?" (4:56-6:25)

How his team works to ground policy recommendations in the data: "What we don't do is we don't try to make values-based arguments." (6:26-8:25)

On whether investors are shaping the investment landscape more than policymakers are: "It's in government's long-term interest to make sure we have a system that protects and empowers people to save and make some decisions." (8:26-10:35)

Policy Matters Today
The state of fiduciary regulation for financial advisors: "It's sort of a mess." (10:36-14:53)

States' role in creating policies that affect investors: "I hope these things build toward a federal solution." (14:54-16:58)

What will drive substantive change in Washington with respect to the investment and retirement landscape: "It's a very slow-moving ship." (16:59-19:51)

The State of the U.S. Retirement System
Retirement preparedness in the U.S.: "There are a lot of people who have been left behind by the fragmented system that we have." (19:52-22:48)

How to measure retirement adequacy: "People should be able to sustain their standard of living that they had during their working lives in retirement." (22:49-24:13)

Whether today's retirees are running out of money, and how we would know. "You don't want to do policy by anecdote." (24:14-26:38)

On the bifurcation in retirement-plan quality between big and small employers. "Small employers are busy keeping the lights on." (26:39-29:22)

On whether the Thrift Savings Plan for federal workers should be available to more workers. "It's great as a model that others can aspire to." (29:23-31:50)

About the Podcast: The Long View is a podcast from Morningstar. Each week, hosts Christine Benz and Jeff Ptak conduct an in-depth discussion with a thought leader from the world of investing or personal finance. The podcast is produced by George Castady and Scott Halver.

About the Hosts: Christine Benz and Jeff Ptak have been analysts and commentators on investments and the investment industry for many years. Christine is Morningstar's director of personal finance and senior columnist for Morningstar.com. Jeff is head of global manager research for Morningstar Research Services, overseeing Morningstar's team of 120 manager research analysts in the U.S. and overseas.

To Share Feedback or a Guest Idea: Write us at TheLongView@morningstar.com

Bogleheads On Investing Podcast
Bogleheads On Investing Podcast
bogleheads
Episode 028: Roger Lowenstein, host Rick Ferri
Roger Lowenstein reported for The Wall Street Journal for more than a decade and is also an award-winning book author. His work has appeared in Bloomberg, The New York Review of Books, Fortune, The New York Times Magazine, and other publications. His best-selling books include Buffett, When Genius Failed, Origins of the Crash, While America Aged, and The End of Wall Street. In this episode, we discuss Roger's books and lessons he learned writing them. This podcast is hosted by Rick Ferri, CFA, a long-time Boglehead and investment adviser. The Bogleheads are a group of like-minded individual investors who follow the general investment and business beliefs of John C. Bogle, founder and former CEO of the Vanguard Group. It is a conflict-free community where individual investors reach out and provide education, assistance, and relevant information to other investors of all experience levels at no cost. The organization's free website is Bogleheads.org, and the wiki site is Bogleheads® wiki. Since 2000, the Bogleheads' have held national conferences in major cities around the country. There are also many Local Chapters in the US and even a few Foreign Chapters that meet regularly. New Chapters are being added on a regular basis. All Bogleheads activities are coordinated by volunteers who contribute their time and talent. This podcast is supported by the John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy, a non-profit organization approved by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity on February 6, 2012. Your tax-deductible donation to the Bogle Center is appreciated.
44 min
WEALTHTRACK
WEALTHTRACK
Consuelo Mack
Medicare & Lockdown: Better than Ever? (U.S.)
According to Medicare benefits expert, Dr. Katy Votava COVID-19 has altered several aspects of Medicare coverage and procedures. She will tell us what’s different and how to take advantage of the changes. She will also help us meet the deadline for Medicare’s annual enrollment period which ends on December 7th and allows medicare beneficiaries to evaluate their Medicare Advantage Plans and part D, prescription drug plans, and shift to different providers if it makes sense.  Votava is a Medicare expert who advises individuals, small businesses, and financial planners from her healthcare consulting business, GOODCARE.com. She is also the author of Making The Most Of Medicare: A Guide For Baby Boomers, now in its 7th edition and an Amazon bestseller. It is a straightforward, easy to navigate guide to Medicare which is a very complex multi-part system that frequently does warrant annual updating by its beneficiaries. An estimated 90 percent of Americans pay too much for their Medicare coverage.  WEALTHTRACK # 1722 published on November 27, 2020 More info: https://wealthtrack.com/how-covid-19-has-changed-medicare-coverage-and-procedures-with-benefits-expert-katy-votava/ Medicare.gov – The official U.S. Government site for Medicare 1-800-MEDICARE Shiptacenter.org – The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) site that directs consumers to free Medicare counseling and assistance Eldercare.acl.gov - Eldercare locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration of Aging, connecting you to services for older adults and their families. 1-800-677-1116    Making The Most Of Medicare: A Guide For Baby Boomers: https://amzn.to/33mW4Rs --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/wealthtrack/support
19 min
Sound Investing
Sound Investing
Paul Merriman
Supercharge Your Retirement and Make Millions More
In this insightful interview by Doc G of Earn & Invest, authors Rich Buck and Paul Merriman talk about their new book, We’re Talking Millions: 12 Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement. They cover topics such as their long-time professional collaboration, simplicity in investing, risk, beating the market, portfolio recommendations and the magic of compound interest over time. Buy We’re Talking Millions: 12 Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement in Kindle or Amazon Print editions. (Soon to be available at other outlets and on Audible). Watch Paul’s video about the book. Visit the book’s website. Doc G was an internal medicine physician when he discovered the personal finance community through Dr. Jim Dahle’s “The White Coat Investor.” He left clinical practice to pursue his passion for deep conversations about money and life and has found the meaning of “enough” through the FIRE movement (Financial Independence Retire Early). This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are four ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a one-time small fee at no cost to you. 4)    Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
57 min
More episodes
Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu