Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" - this week's edition kicks off with the big advisor #FinTech announcement that Morningstar is acquiring the rebalancing software platform Total Rebalance Expert (tRx). Also in the news this week was the launch of a new advocacy platform (courtesy of TD Ameritrade) to make it easier for advisors to submit comments to their Congresspeople regarding advisory industry regulatory issues, and a new study from Cerulli suggesting that a whopping 25% of wirehouse advisors could leave for independent channels in the next 4 years as post-financial-crisis retention deals start coming up for renewal.
From there, we have a few practice management articles this week, including a discussion of the growing number of younger advisors looking to buy out the advisory firms of retiring advisors, an excellent article by Angie Herbers on the growth barriers that advisory firms face as their size (and complexity) increases, and an explanation of what "distributions-in-guise" are and why the SEC is cracking down on them (highlighted by a recent $40M fine against investment adviser First Eagle Investment Management).
We also have a couple of technical planning articles this week, from a new research study out of the Center for Retirement Research finding that one of the primary reasons people lapse their long-term care insurance policies is due to cognitive decline (a sad reality, as those are also the people most likely to need the coverage!), to a look at the concept of the "tontine" and why it may soon make a comeback as a retirement income solution, and a discussion of how market valuations not only tend to mean revert to historical average valuations to but mean invert to historical valuation lows (which has significant implications for forward market returns from today's valuation levels!).
We wrap up with three interesting articles: the first looks at the world of financial advice in the U.K., which implemented advisor reforms two years ago that included an outright ban on all investment commissions, and is now starting to yield some data about whether low- and middle-income consumers really are abandoned in a no-commission world (the early data suggests they're not abandoned, but advisors may end out needing to charge fees higher than what consumers are willing to pay!); the second provides a good reminder than virtually any business model for advisors presents some conflicts around the advice delivered, as the easiest course of action is always to give advice that rewards the current business model; and the last is a critique from the editorial team at Investment News regarding the recent proposed NASAA model fee disclosure rules for broker-dealers, which ironically would increase transparency of "miscellaneous" broker-dealer fees but require no actual transparency regarding the (typically much larger) fees, commissions, and other compensation that consumers pay to the broker themselves!
And be certain to read through to the end, and check out Bill Winterberg's video coverage of the recent tRx Unplugged 2015 conference as well!
Enjoy the reading!