Enjoy the current installment of “weekend reading for financial planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the news that the 5th Circuit Appeals Court has denied what appears to be the last and final appeal of the states to intervene and defend the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, in what will probably prove to have been the final effort to revive it (although the court itself still hasn’t actually issued their final mandate to vacate the rule after their March 15th decision). On a happier note in the news this week, Focus Financial began the paperwork process to file for an IPO, in what would be the first ever initial public offering of an independent RIA providing wealth management (or at least, a holding company that has aggregated dozens of them together).
From there, we have several tax-related articles this week, including a look at savings strategies for high-income individuals who want to save more above-and-beyond maxing out their 401(k) plans and IRAs, workarounds for families that have (unwittingly?) saved money in grandparent-owned 529 plans and now realize the adverse financial aid consequences of the arrangement, and tips and strategies for estate tax (and broader estate) planning when working with ultra-HNW clients (where it’s not just about the technical strategies themselves, but ensuring they are properly implemented to avoid IRS scrutiny, and appropriately communicated to the family to avoid future disputes).
We also have a few practice management articles on attracting and retaining employees, including: new research that what employees want isn’t just a progression of Maslow’s hierarchy but a combination of 3 core areas (career, community, and cause); why it’s a good idea to try customizing job descriptions to individual employees (essentially fitting the job description to the employee, instead of the traditional approach of trying to find an employee who fits the job description); tips for handling underperforming employees; and why some advisory firms are exploring new employee benefits like month-long sabbaticals to attract and retain top talent.
We wrap up with three interesting articles, all around the theme of the advisor’s role in not just providing advice and recommendations to clients, but helping them actually implement the advice: the first looks at how coaches often command much higher fees than advisors (because people will pay ‘something’ for good advice and expertise, but even more for someone that helps ensure they actually get it done!); the second looks at how the research on trust in professionals (including advisors) isn’t just about demonstrating the advisor’s competency and expertise, but his/her “warmth” and caring (because client’s won’t implement the advice if they don’t believe it’s really in their best interests); and the last draws on Dr. Moira Somers’ new book “Advice That Sticks” and the research from the medical industry on what leads to patients actually adhering to the advice and prescriptions their doctors provide… and what advisors can learn from it about how to make our own advice “stick”, too!
Enjoy the “light” reading!