Which Donald J. Trump will be calling the shots on matters that affect small investors?
If we're lucky, it will be the guy who vowed in his victory speech that he'd have the backs of "the forgotten man and woman." That would be the same Trump who said earlier this year that he was "not going to let Wall Street get away with murder" and that he'd like to bring back Glass-Steagall, the post-Great Depression reforms that separated depository banks from investment banks.
But then there's that other Trump, the one who has said "the regulation industry is one business I will put an end to."
That's the Trump I'm worried about.
If a betrayal of small investors is in the cards, you'll start to see the Trump administration rolling back tough financial rules and installing his deregulatory brethren in consumer-friendly agencies.
Sadly, those seeds already are being planted.
Consider Trump's vow to dismantle the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the birthplace of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Trump hasn't weighed in specifically on the agency's future, but his fellow-Republicans are going all-out to neuter it.
The CFPB is arguably the most effective financial agency out there -- if you define "effective" as being true to its mission to look out for the public. Most recently, it was behind that $100 million settlement in September with Wells Fargo (WFC) , the disgraced bank whose employees opened hundreds of thousands of bogus customer accounts to satisfy sales quotas.