Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" - this week's edition kicks off with coverage of the newly shortened computer-based CFP exam that was administered for the first time this week, and also an announcement by the CFP Board in its recent business webinar that the public awareness campaign, and the additional $145/year fee that funds it, is expected to continue "indefinitely" (as long as the campaign results continue to be positive). In addition, the FPA also released this week a new study about advisors and growth, finding that advisory firms are struggling to achieved their growth goals, with only 9% of all firms reporting that their business development efforts are "very effective" in achieving their goals.
From there, we have a number of technical articles this week, including: a discussion of the current status on Social Security benefits for same-sex married couples; how early retirees can maximize premium assistance tax credits for getting health insurance during the "gap" years from retirement until Medicare eligibility; some key details to know about how non-transparent "active" ETFs will work; a discussion of what kinds of assumptions are (and are not) reasonable when clients are pitched on equity-indexed universal life strategies; a new court case in Pennsylvania on "filial support" that raises the question of whether long-term care facilities may become more aggressive in pursuing adult children for the unpaid expenses of their indigent elderly parents; and a summary of the current state of dependent care accounts, and the opportunities they provide, even though they are not often utilized.
We wrap up with three interesting articles: the first provides a good overview of some of the latest research on whether money really can buy happiness or not (hint: it's not just about having wealth, but about how it is spent); the second explores some new research on the behavioral biases that impact not only investors, but also advisors and even fund managers; and the last is a (not entirely positive) review of the recent Tony Robbins book that finds the book may not have as clear of a fiduciary message in practice as it purports in theory.
And be certain to check out Bill Winterberg's "Bits & Bytes" video on the latest in advisor tech news at the end, including the launch of a new financial planning software solution called Advizr, a new "robo-planning" solution iQuantifi, and more! Enjoy the reading!