Enjoy the current installment of "Weekend Reading For Financial Planners" – this week's edition kicks off with the news that the Social Security Administration will be keeping its local field offices closed for the foreseeable future, despite earlier reports that they would be re-opening in early 2022 for the first time since March of 2020—meaning that those who rely on Social Security will need to continue to use the agency’s website and phone line to access their services, and advisors working with clients will want to keep getting even more familiar with the SSA’s online capabilities as well.
Also in industry news this week:
- The SEC has gone back and forth on whether it will allow RIAs to use the term “fiduciary” on Form CRS, frustrating some RIA owners who want the form to better distinguish the standards of conduct for RIAs from those for broker-dealers
- A new research report shows that the share of client assets managed by wirehouses has declined significantly since 2010, and projects to shrink even further as more advisors continue opting to go independent
From there, we have several articles on various strategies employed by the ultra-wealthy to avoid taxes, including:
- A workaround that allows business owners in certain states to circumvent the $10,000 limit on State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions (if the state enacts the necessary changes)
- How billionaires have aggressively claimed business losses on their hobbies and leisure pursuits to offset their other income, in spite of IRS rules that prohibit such “hobby” losses
- How Wyoming displaced offshore trusts to become one of the most popular tax havens in the world for the ultrawealthy, owing to the “Cowboy Cocktail” of trusts and business entities that allow individuals to conceal their ownership of assets within the state.
We also have a number of articles on the growing field of ‘financial psychology’:
- How understanding financial psychology can allow advisors to help clients make better financial decisions (and lead advisors to create better financial plans)
- What advisors can learn from the high-touch world of concierge medicine
- Why worrying about money transcends wealth levels and what advisors can do to maximize their clients’ (and their own) happiness
We wrap up with three final articles, all about how the pandemic has affected the lives of Americans:
- How the top 1% and the bottom 50% have seen the greatest relative wealth gains during the pandemic, while the middle- and upper-middle class may be getting squeezed (at least on a relative basis)
- Why many knowledge workers are quitting their jobs, and how financial advisors can adapt to the new working environment
- Why Americans have done little to change their recent behavior, despite newly skyrocketing COVID case counts, and how that might affect both advisors and their clients heading in 2022
Enjoy the ‘light’ reading!