Enjoy the current installment of “weekend reading for financial planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the big news that the Nevada Securities Division has released a working proposal of its new fiduciary rule, which would expansively apply a fiduciary duty to both investment advisers and brokers who give advice or merely hold out as an advisor in the state, as more and more states move to implement their own uniform fiduciary rules in the absence of any effort from the SEC to do so instead.
Also in the news this week is the announcement that Raymond James is buying boutique RIA M&A investment bank Silver Lane (in what signals an anticipation of even more growth in RIA mergers and acquisitions in the coming years), and updated regulations from the Treasury on the new Section 199A Qualified Business Income deduction (including important clarifications and some new restrictions for real estate investors).
From there, we have a few articles on savings and spending habits, including advice on how to not just save more effectively but to lift your savings rate over time, tips for juggling multiple credit cards to maximize credit card rewards points, and a look at the rise of “luxury concierge” services for the affluent providing “bespoke experiences” as the affluent increasingly focus on not just buying goods but services and experiences as well.
We also have a number of retirement articles this week, from a look at how the “bucket approach” to retirement actually tends to decrease retirement success by almost any measure, how deferred income annuities improve retirement readiness (by only using, but only needing, a small portion of the portfolio in the first place), and the unanticipated challenges that one early retiree faced when he actually retired early at the age of 41.
We wrap up with three interesting articles, all around the theme of income and wealth inequality, which has been increasingly in the news lately: the first looks at a recent study by Oxfam, which finds the top 26 billionaires now have as much wealth as the bottom 50% of the entire population of the planet, with the top 1% overall capturing nearly 82% of the world’s annual wealth increase last year (further amplifying wealth and income inequality); the second looks at Senator and president-candidate Elizabeth Warren’s recent proposal of a new wealth tax of 2% to 3% as a means to raise government revenue and reduce wealth inequality; and the last explores the recent proposal from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has proposed a new top tax bracket of 70% on those earning more than $10M, based in part on the fact that the US had top tax brackets from 70% to 90% through the 1950s, 60s, and 70s… except as it turns out, the high tax rates were also accompanied by a wide range of tax shelters and other tax avoidance schemes at the time, and that in reality the effective tax rate on the top 1% wasn’t all that different back then than it is already today.
Enjoy the “light” reading!