Enjoy the current installment of “weekend reading for financial planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the big industry news that the SEC is looking at finally updating the advertising rules for RIAs after nearly 60 years, which would include allowing advisory firms the ability to use testimonials and endorsements from clients, and even highlight third-party ratings about their work with clients (while still limiting how firms tout their investment performance in particular).
Also in the news this week was an announcement by Schwab at their IMPACT conference that the firm is looking to expand its banking and lending services for advisors on their platform, the rollout of Morningstar’s new Analyst Ratings for funds (that are resulting in a substantial number of downgrades for funds, especially in their higher-cost share classes), and an indication that the SEC is gearing up to crack down on hybrid broker-dealers using affiliated money market sweep programs without properly disclosing the conflict to their RIA clients.
We also have several retirement related articles this week, from the IRS’ announcement that it is gearing up to roll out new life expectancy tables that will reduce RMD obligations beginning in 2021 (though the actual RMD factors may only be reduced by about 0.21%), a look at the “9 types of retirees” and their psychographic tendencies, how some firms are experimenting with virtual reality to literally help clients better visualize their future retirement (to help them change their behavior to save more), how to help clients have a more financially successful retirement not just by helping them plan for retiree health care costs but actually getting healthier to reduce those costs, and an interesting look at how the discussion of income inequality is raising questions about the nature of retirement and why “the rich” don’t just retire once they have “enough” in the first place?
We wrap up with three interesting articles, all around the theme of how we work most productively and what it takes to incentivize us to do so: the first looks at a recent study that finds while we tend to believe financial incentives will motivate others, when we consider our own motivations we usually don’t think it will have as much impact (raising questions of whether we overestimate the role financial incentives really play); the second explores the recent decision of Microsoft in Japan to test out a 4-day workweek (which at least temporarily resulted in a whopping 40% increase in productivity after a 5-week experiment); and the last looks at a company that is trying out (just) 5-hour work days for their knowledge workers, on the theory that if employees can really get concentrated deep work done from 8AM to 1PM, they’ll accomplish as much as a full work day anyway… and be happier and better rested with all the time they have left over.
Enjoy the ‘light’ reading!