I live in fear that few can share. I'm confident, however, many of my readers both here and at FiduciaryNews.com do share this same fear. To those who don't, I can only describe it as akin to that "final exam" nightmare. You know the one I'm talking about. It's when you dream it's the morning of the big test in a class you need to graduate – and you suddenly realize you've never attended any lectures and never read any of the books.

(Mind you, this is especially frightening for me – a Physics and Astronomy major – as, unlike humanities majors, I couldn't write my out of not studying.)  It's only when it's too much that you wake up with a cold sweat. Thankfully, after a few agonizing conscious moments, awareness dawns and you're relieved to discover it was all a dream.

Such is the life of any individual subject to the regulatory whims of the government. Whether you're a financial professional or a plan fiduciary, you cannot escape this awful purgatory. You live each day knowing one small slip can ruin a reputation carefully built over a lifetime. Worse, it doesn't matter if that slip comes from innocence oversight, the consequences can be just as dire as if it were due to malicious intent. 

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal FiduciaryNews.com and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/christophercarosa/)and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ChrisCarosa).