Enjoy the current installment of “weekend reading for financial planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the news that the Department of Labor has won yet another of its cases on the fiduciary rule, as indexed annuity provider/distributor Market Synergy Group has failed in its attempt to have the rule blocked or repealed. While there are still many cases left to resolve, and the potential for appeals, the DoL going 2-for-2 in the past month is a promising sign that the fiduciary rule may be here to stay.
From there, we have several practice management articles this week, specifically around the hiring and compensation process that often comes at the end of the year, from a look at when it makes sense to hire another advisor, to the importance of creating a career track and compensation plan for employees (which is better than the “compensation crisis management” approach of only addressing the issue when an employee reports he/she is about to leave!), and a look at how firms are starting to formulate career tracks and long-term compensation plans to retain the best talent.
We also have a few more technical planning articles, including: a reminder to look at potential year-end capital gains distributions from mutual funds and whether clients should switch to another investment before the distribution happens; how HSAs are starting to gain real momentum (but disproportionately amongst “older” workers aged 55+, who may be contributing to the HSA more as a retirement supplement than simply to cover upcoming health insurance deductibles as originally intended); factors to consider when a client has a potential NUA distribution; and how lifetime immediate annuities can still make sense, even in a low-yield environment, because the reality is that the annuity “income” is actually a combination of interest, principal, and mortality credits (which means interest rates alone only play a moderate role in setting the payouts).
We wrap up with three interesting articles: the first is a look at Julie Littlechild’s research on how when advisors make personal breakthroughs in their business, it tends to follow a consistent three-stage process to change; the second is a reminder that while lots of us have work and obligations to do, the greatest success comes to those who are initiators, getting ideas off the ground and going above and beyond the bare minimum required; and the last is a fascinating look at the research showing that most of us have tens of thousands of thoughts that flitter through our heads all day, of which a whopping 80% are negative… which means our success will be determined heavily by our ability to silence the voices and change our beliefs and focus on the positive that allows us to really move forward.
And be certain to check out Bill Winterberg’s “Bits & Bytes” video at the end, which this week includes coverage of WisdomTree’s $20M capital investment into robo-advisor-for-advisors Vanare (which is also rebranding to AdvisorEngine going forward), a favorable review of new financial planning software provider RightCapital, and an inside look at the capabilities of portfolio performance and accounting software challenger Addepar.
Enjoy the “light” reading!