Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" - this week's edition kicks off with the big news that Edmond Walters, founder and CEO of the popular eMoney Advisor financial planning software, has abruptly resigned from the company, barely 6 months after being acquired by Fidelity, in what is rumored to have been a significant culture clash between the aggressive entrepreneur and Fidelity's more conservative and traditional corporate culture. In the wake, questions now abound regarding the future fate of eMoney Advisor, in the hands of Fidelity's leadership to execute, but without eMoney's visionary founder.
From there, we have a few more articles on industry technology news and practice management advice, from an announcement that account aggregation provider Quovo just raised a fresh $4.75M round of venture capital to expand its solutions for advisors, to a look at the "new" (to North America) financial planning software Figlo, a great reminder from Mark Tibergien that if your advisory firm's greatest asset is its people then the firm should be investing in them that way, and a discussion from Kelli Cruz reinforced the point by noting that most firms have a remarkably mediocre process for recruiting and hiring new staff members despite the incredible importance of building a good team!
We also have a couple of technical planning articles this week, including: a reminder of the prohibited transaction rules for IRAs and how a small mistake can not only trigger a small distribution but disqualify an entire IRA account; a look at some of the latest research and policy discussions in Washington about retirement, including a growing recognition that solutions may need to become more sophisticated given the significant gap in life expectancies across higher vs lower income individuals; and a look about whether it's really possible for an investment strategy that produces favorable returns to continue to "work" even after it is widely known and "everyone" starts doing it.
We wrap up with three interesting articles: the first looks at a new book by Barry Schwartz entitled "Why We Work" and whether the idea that human beings are "lazy" and unmotivated to work and will only do so when financially incentivized to do so could actually be the very thing that is damaging our motivation to work and leaving us so disengaged; the second is a brief reminder of the importance of balancing work and rest, and that while working excess hours is a fine way to get through a crunch, but on a sustained basis can actually result in less total productivity even with more hours; and the last is a 'mea culpa' from Bob Veres on behalf of all industry journalists, noting that our industry media may have become so obsessed with the idea of growing the biggest advisory firm that it has failed to remember that we all have our own definitions of success, which may be as much about what happens in our personal lives, and the quality of the service we provide our clients, beyond just trying to finish with the largest pile of AUM.
And be certain to check out Bill Winterberg's "Bits & Bytes" video on the latest in advisor tech news at the end, including the 'surprise' announcement that eMoney Advisor's founder and CEO Edmond Walters has resigned, and big news about account aggregation provider Quovo that both raised $4.75M of venture capital this week and also announced a major integration with financial planning software provider Advicent (makers of NaviPlan and Figlo).
Enjoy the reading!