Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" - this week's edition kicks off with the release of Judge Leon's opinion memorandum in the case of Camarda vs CFP Board, which reveals that the Judge's decision in favor of the CFP Board was based not on the merits of the case, but simply that the courts wouldn't intervene in the 'private internal affairs' of the CFP Board's disciplinary process... raising the concern that no CFP certificants may have any recourse in a court of law to hold the CFP Board accountable in situations where there is a future disciplinary dispute. Also in the news this week was the announcement that Schwab is aiming to significantly expand its branch office network and ramp up hiring of its own advisors, raising questions of whether it may increasingly find itself competing with the RIAs using its platform. And rounding out the news this week is an article by Knut Rostad offering suggestions of how the Department of Labor can improve its "BICE" rules to ensure the fiduciary standard is not undermined.
From there, we have a few technical planning articles this week, including a discussion of whether managed payout funds are better retirement income vehicles than immediate annuities (the results don't look good for those who top priority is retirement income!), a look at how most people with access to an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) are underutilizing them and leaving "free" profits on the table, and some suggestions on how to modify the way Power of Attorney documents are used to cut down on the rising trend of elder financial abuse.
There are also a few practice management articles, from a reminder that the slow summer season is a good time to do strategic planning for your advisory business (or personal career!), to a look at the rise of "advisor blogging" as a means to market and grow an advisory firm, and a discussion of the issues that advisors should consider when it comes to compliant storage of digital client documents (from encrypting your computer, to the encryption capabilities of your cloud storage service, and how to ensure secure transmission of the data between the two!).
We wrap up with three interesting articles: the first is a good reminder that to really help clients, advisors need to focus on what really motivates them (i.e., clients aren't necessarily motivated by setting goals; instead, figure out what motivates them, and help them to direct that energy towards achieving their goals!); the second is a high-level look at how the entire financial services industry is in transition, driven by both top-down regulatory changes still being implemented since the financial crisis, plus the bottom-up impact of the rising Millennial generation and the increasing intrusion of Silicon Valley and the world of FinTech; and the last is a fascinating roundtable interview with "next generation" advisors, suggesting that the primary problem advisory firms have with retention of younger advisors is not that they're all looking for a handout, but that firms are simply failing to articulate clear goals for young advisors to pursue and then also failing to reward the young advisors with advancement when those goals are achieved.
Enjoy the reading!