Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" - this week's issues starts off with the big regulatory news that Mary Jo White has been nominated to replace interim SEC chairwoman Elisse Walter; White is an industry "outsider" with a background as a U.S. attorney who has prosecuted terrorists and organized crime bosses, raising the question of whether there's about to be a shift in the aggressiveness of the SEC towards Wall Street and in favor of the fiduciary movement. After looking at a second article on the trend towards fiduciary as well, we have a series of more technical articles, including one that suggests potential estate tax reforms may change how ILITs are designed, another that provides a useful checklist of reminders for advisors and their clients when someone passes away, and an interesting look at how education regarding stock options can help employees overcome the mental shortcuts they take that often misjudge the value of their option compensation.
We also have a series of retirement-planning-related articles this week, including: research about how clients can start with significantly higher safe withdrawal rates if they're willing to give up inflationary adjustments in later years (which often happens anyway as clients age); a new research study suggesting that the base safe withdrawal rate may need to be reduced below 4% given today's dangerous combination of high market valuation and low yields; and how it may be worth delaying immediate annuities given today's low return environment until clients are well into their 70s or even their 80s. There's also a striking article looking at how annuities may change in the coming decade, going back to their industry roots from centuries ago where annuities didn't guarantee a lifetime of cash payments, but of lifetime services like food, clothing, and shelter. There are also two behavioral-finance-oriented articles: the first looks at how to manage not the behavioral biases of our clients but our own biases; and the second shows how keeping too much liquidity for clients is a problem not just because it's a return drag but also because clients may actually be happier if their long-term investments are illiquid to reduce temptation to spend!
We wrap up with a nice reminder that working as a professional can lead to a lot of sitting - which can be very unhealthy over extended periods of time. The proposed solution: try "walking meetings" where you actually conduct the meeting while taking a walk, instead of just sitting. The author notes that it's not only a healthier way to meet, but can even lead to more productive meetings as well! Enjoy the reading!