When financial advisor Ron Rosselot, a self-described political news junkie, went to Washington on May 11 of 2011 for a day of Capitol Hill visits with 19 other members of the FSI Financial Advisor Council, he didn’t expect to see so many political “stars” as he stood on the Capitol steps having a meeting with Representative Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania. In fact, Rosselot, president of Rosselot Financial in Cincinnati, had no fully formed expectations about his role in the Council’s Washington visit and what would be accomplished.
But there he was – along with fellow advisor Bob Fragasso of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania – delivering the message about clients’ needs to have continued access to professional help for 40l(k)s and IRAs, something that is threatened by new rules proposed by the Department of Labor. With the meeting rescheduled to the Capitol’s steps after Rep. Murphy went to the floor to vote, Rosselot was both surprised and excited to see so many faces from the news channels all around him.
What Rosselot learned about his time in Washington is as valuable to you as it was to him. “I gained a new respect for the overwhelming amount of information that members of Congress have to absorb and understand,” says Rosselot. “It felt great to have the ear of a representative and to feel empowered to be a personal advocate for my business, my clients, and my industry. It made me realize that legislation that has significant unintended consequences for us can get passed without Congress really knowing the effects – unless we tell them. It certainly validated the importance of FSI for me. We have to get in front of the right people and then deliver the message and without FSI’s help that doesn’t happen.”
On a day like a visit to Capitol Hill – which on May 11 included 20 members of the Financial Advisor Council organized into 8 teams representing 15 states and meetings with more than 3 dozen members of Congress – the real stars are individual FSI members who commit to taking ownership of their future by making a decision and stepping forward. But taking ownership doesn’t have to mean going to Washington – attend a representative’s town hall meeting at home, make a phone call, write a letter, speak to other advisors about getting engaged in the process.
If you’re a member of FSI, you’ve taken the first step by adding your voice to those of 16,000 other financial advisors and 100 broker-dealers in sharing responsibility for stewardship of your industry. The next steps are simple enough that they require no training, special skill or even experience: recruit a colleague to join you in our advocacy mission on behalf of independent financial advisors and then make the decision to get engaged and be more than just a passive member.
Former president John F. Kennedy once said that “There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.” While numbers matter, especially in Washington, so does action. Are you comfortable with comfortable inaction? Are you willing to tell your fellow financial advisors that? They’re counting on you – and so are we.
Dale E. Brown, CAEPresident & CEO
Dale E. Brown, CAE
President & CEO
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