Enjoy the current installment of “weekend reading for financial planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with an edgy new academic study finding that dual-registered advisors on average charge fees that are significantly higher than standalone RIAs, face more conflicts of interest, and end out with a higher rate of regulatory complaints, raising serious concerns about whether the shift towards, and growing popularity of, dual-registered investment advisors may ultimately face a regulatory backlash.
Also in the news this week is a decision by the New York State Supreme Court to uphold its new Regulation 187 that would require all insurance agents and brokers to meet a fiduciary duty when providing insurance and annuity recommendations to clients, and a blockbuster investigative report from Financial Planning magazine finding that JPMorgan not only inappropriately fired a whistleblower for raising a red flag about its practice of selling proprietary products to fiduciary clients, but appears to have falsified client complaints against the advisor as well… and FINRA still disciplined the advisor and refuses to retract it, while FINRA itself faces the conflict of having JPMorgan’s former top lawyer as a member of its own Board.
From there, we have several technology-related articles, including a look at the growing number of tools for advisors that help to estimate healthcare costs in retirement and plan for senior medical expenses, a look at the slow-but-steady rise of artificial intelligence in wealth management (which thus far, is actually being driven in large part by CRM provider Salesforce), and how “digital marketing” technology is becoming the hot area for advisory firms to spend more on (given the potentially immediate positive ROI for investments into marketing technology versus other areas like compliance tech).
We also have a few articles on investing, including a guide on how to select the right outsourced investment management provider (i.e., TAMP), a prediction that only two types of asset managers (high-performance boutiques and mega-scale behemoths) will survive in the coming decade, and a Morningstar analysis of what exact drives the tax-efficiency of ETFs.
We wrap up with three interesting articles, all around the theme of the ways our future is changing through the power of technology: the first looks at the rise of technology-driven homebuyer services like OpenDoor and OfferPad, that are applying algorithms to turn residential real estate into an “e-commerce” environment with faster buying and selling; the second explores how, despite the eye-popping rise of platforms like Uber, such mega-platforms can still be highly prone to disruption themselves depending on the nature of their networks; and the last looks at how the near-ubiquity of smartphones is leading them to be increasingly used as our identification device, with initiatives underway to digitize into our phones everything from MetroCards to even our Driver’s Licenses.
Enjoy the “light” reading!