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Bogle: Fiduciary Standard Clearly Right Thing to Do

The current plan to create a fiduciary standard for retirement plans is a good first step, says Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, but it should be expanded over time to include nonretirement plans and institutional money managers.

Christine Benz: Another topic that I know you have thoughts on is this idea of a uniform fiduciary standard. The Department of Labor has floated a proposal. Let's get your thoughts on that specific proposal and the idea of a fiduciary standard. I know that you think it's a good idea in general.

Jack Bogle: I've been struggling to get a federal standard of fiduciary duty for, I guess, 25 years, and I have advanced the ball maybe an inch or half an inch. But the White House staff called me in the fall of last year, and I worked with the White House staff and the Department of Labor staff quite a bit since then on trying to develop the ideas for this, trying to give them confidence that it was the right thing to do. Also, I've had a couple of really nice conversations with Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. It's the right thing to do for the retirement-plan area--that's all that's involved here. Obviously, I told them at the beginning that they really ought to not stop at retirement plans. Everybody offering investment advice ought to be a fiduciary, whether it's through retirement plans or not. I think it's so clear that that's the world we should have.