Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" – this week’s edition leads off with a proposed change by the CFP Board to develop sanction guidelines to that financial planner wrongdoing can be disciplined more consistently, as the organization continues to refine its enforcement efforts. From there, we look at a review of the FPA’s Financial Plan Development and Fees study, and some regulatory discussion about the Financial Planning Coalition’s recent effort to push the SEC forward on fiduciary rulemaking, along with an article where Don Trone explores the importance of discernment – to ability to know between right and wrong – in applying a fiduciary standard. The Journal of Financial Planning has several interesting articles around long-term care issues for clients, ranging from a contributions article on continuing-care retirement communities, a look at how advisors are dealing with rising LTC insurance costs, and an interview with doctor-turned-financial-planner Carolyn McClanahan. We continue the look at elder planning issues with Ed Slott’s review of the new proposed Treasury regulations to allow longevity annuities inside of retirement accounts (although the products have yet to gain any momentum outside of retirement accounts, either!). Wrapping up includes a look at why Mark Hanson thinks the housing market still may not be a bottom (despite calls for it during the spring season for the fourth year in a row), why Hussman thinks 5-year forward returns for stocks are negative and that a bear market may be coming soon, and an interesting story from NPR about the psychology of fraud and new research to suggest that an important way to keep people from wrongdoing is to make sure they stay in an ethical frame of mind when evaluating their own actions. Enjoy the reading!
Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" – this week’s edition highlights the big industry news: legislation proposing that all investment advisors be regulated by an SRO, with an implication the SRO would be FINRA, although another new SRO (perhaps SROIIA?) could fill the void instead. Continuing the theme, we also look at an article by Don Trone exploring how we might measure just how much of a fiduciary an advisor really is. From there, we have a brief look at the other ‘big’ news this week – the release of Google Drive – and why advisors should steer clear, at least with their client and business files, along with a review of the last article from this month’s Journal of Financial Planning, building on the idea that the best withdrawal strategies should not just defer pre-tax accounts as long as possible but instead should whittle them down bit by bit over time. Next, we look at three practice management articles: one about how firms are increasingly developing talent in-house because the young advisor shortage is putting upward wage pressure on hiring from the outside; how it’s crucial to have compensation conversations upfront to avoid resentment and problems later; and how hiring friends and encourage friendships in the workplace can actually be a good thing, despite the common taboo. We wrap up with three interesting investment articles: the first from Morningstar Advisor about why absolute return funds are failing to deliver; the second about how to change the Sharpe ratio to better account for real world market risk and volatility; and the third by Jeremy Grantham of GMO, highlighting that as money managers try to manage their career risk and avoid getting fired, they create some incredible market volatility and inefficiencies along the way. Enjoy the reading!
Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" – this week’s edition highlights two good technical articles; the first is from the Journal of Financial Planning on how the decision to delay Social Security isn’t just about increasing benefits, but extending the overall longevity of the client portfolio as well; and the second is from Morningstar Advisor about the continued growth of alternative investments in portfolios. From there, we look at an interview with the CFP Board’s new Director of Investigations as it steps up enforcement, and a review of the highlights from this week’s Tiburon CEO Summit. We also look at three articles focused on the current state of practices, from the plight of the solo advisor, the changing focus of RIAs, and how to enhance the long-term value of your practice. We wrap up with a great article about how to craft an effective blog for your firm, an interesting perspective on the evolution of the variable annuity business, and a striking article from the Harvard Business Review blog that makes the point that ultimately, the best businesses are defined not by the products or services they sell, but the beliefs that guide the firm, its culture, what it delivers, and how it delivers it. Enjoy the reading! 752NXY7TM54P
Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" – this week’s edition highlights a scary new trend for advisors to be aware of: thieves who impersonate clients and/or hack into their accounts to try to get you to wire money out to the thief’s account. From there, we look at a mixture of articles, from a review of the recent upgrades to wealth management software eMoney Advisor, to a call by Bob Veres for new 21st century regulation (and what it might look like), to some good practical tips on how to get more value from networking events with the right questions to ask, and how advisors can start using Pinterest (the latest social media site that is exploding in popularity). We also look at some technical articles on the resurgence of reverse mortgages, and the latest from Wade Pfau in the Journal of Financial Planning on how valuation-based tactical asset allocation can increase safe withdrawal rates and reduce required savings by accumulators. We finish with a review by John Mauldin of the latest jobs report, an interesting blog from the Harvard Business Review about how you should focus on your accomplishments and not your affiliations, and an interview with yours-truly in the Journal of Financial Planning on a wide range of financial planning and professional topics. Enjoy the reading!
Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" – this week’s edition highlights recently announced changes from the CFP Board regarding the experience requirement and the consequences of a bankruptcy for certificants, and three ‘warning’ articles to take note of: one about the crowd funding solicitations your clients will likely receive in the coming year(s) as a result of the new JOBS act; a second about problems arising in the ETN/ETF marketplace that suggest more due diligence may be in order; and the third about an annuity agent who was thrown in jail for selling an annuity to a senior who was later deemed incompetent due to dementia, raising serious questions for all advisors about the standard of care for determining whether a client is competent before working with them. From there, we look at three interesting studies hitting the news this week: the first was a research study by NBER that suggested most ‘advisors’ are not giving advice in the interests of their clients; the second found that "fee-based" is actually a negative term in the minds of most consumers and may be eroding consumer trust; and the third suggesting that a uniform fiduciary standard for brokers may not increase the cost of advice for lower income individuals or shift the industry to focus on the affluent, despite many claims to the contrary. From there, we look at two blog posts: one about how using video on your website may be easier (and cheaper) than most people believe, and another that makes the good point that just because someone offers investment insights in the financial media does not mean they’re giving advice – and we need to stop confusing the two. We finish with a striking write-up of a recent study released by the BLS looking at consumer spending over the past century, and exploring the challenging question: if our country has gotten so much richer, why do so many feel poor and struggle these days? Enjoy the reading!
Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" – this week’s edition highlights a new analytical tool from Morningstar that can apparently help you to benchmark your (AUM) fees against the industry, an interesting perspective on what really makes clients refer you (hint: it’s about what’s in it for them, not for you), and a look at how easy it is to build a website these days (yet how many advisors still haven’t done so). We also look at an article about how to have difficult conversations with clients, and two industry trends articles about Hartford’s departure from the variable annuity space, and Prudential’s departure from the long-term care insurance market (with Genworth stepping up to fill the void). We finish with an article about fixed income strategies that advisors are using in today’s marketplace, a look at how the term financial planner is being misused around the world and what the Financial Planning Standards Board has to say about it, and a lighter look from the Harvard Business Review at two lists you should maintain every day – what you will focus on doing, and what you will commit to ignoring – to enhance your productivity and success. Enjoy the reading!
Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" – this week’s edition highlights some recent activity regarding fiduciary, from an surprising alignment between NAPFA, the FPA, and FSI against the latest Department of Labor proposals on fiduciary, to an article exploring how wirehouses may already be shifting their brokers towards fiduciary, and a profile of a former broker who suggests that the wirehouse model (at least in its current form) will be dead by the end of the decade. From there, we look at a review by Bill Winterberg of the latest iPad, along with how mobile apps are evolving in the RIA marketplace. On the investment front, there’s an interesting new type of annuity that may be coming soon, which would allow advisors to attach an income guarantee to an investment account without tying up the entire account itself inside the annuity, an interesting article by Larry Swedroe suggesting that "buy what you know" is actually not a good investment strategy, and a striking look at the Wall Street meltdown in the financial crisis suggesting that the SEC’s change in net capital limits for broker/dealers in 2004 may not have actually been to blame. We wrap up with a warning from Hussman that an army of angry Aunt Minnies may be signaling a market peak and the onset of a new bear market, and a much lighter piece pointing out that you can lose so much productivity by working long weeks that you’d be better off cutting back to 40 hours. Enjoy the reading!
Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" – this week’s edition highlights an interesting article about the benefits and risks of exchange-traded notes, and two new articles about retirement spending and how to consider more flexible retirement spending plans. We also look at two striking investment pieces, one from Morningstar Advisor that highlights upcoming research about how the rise of index trading may be increasing the correlation of markets and reducing the benefits of diversification, and Mauldin’s weekly update suggesting that Greece’s restructuring deal is not the end of the European debt crisis. We wrap up with a nice article from Bob Veres about what it takes to be a successful financial planner, some tips from a recent Harvard Business Review blog about how to make yourself more focused and productive to reduce feelings of burnout, and the big media news of the week – the very public resignation of a Goldman Sachs executive director named Greg Smith, suggesting that the company has lost its moral bearing. Enjoy the reading!
Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" – this week’s edition highlights an array of industry practice management articles, leading off with a new discussion of "super ensemble" firms – the emerging regionally dominant wealth management firms with $5 billion or more of AUM that are challenging both small local firms and big institutional competitors. We also look at articles about the quickening pace of consolidation, the rising trend of large firms hiring career changers to replace retiring advisors as there aren’t enough young people entering the industry, a prediction that flat fees will soon replace AUM as the primary method of advisor compensation, and a look at a new advisor firm offering from a Wharton professor seeking to provide a client-centric platform for new advisors to build their businesses. We finish with a good article from economist Gregory Mankiw in the New York Times about what carried interest really is and why it’s so hard to figure out how to tax it, an intriguing look at the risks that western civilization faces from which it must emerge or face a risk of collapse, and a fascinating look at how the popular 60/40 portfolio may actually be far more risky than we commonly believe. Enjoy the reading!Read More…
Enjoy the current installment of “weekend reading for financial planners” – this week’s edition highlights an intriguing analysis from Morningstar’s new number crunching on investor returns, finding that investors may not actually be chasing hot mutual funds nearly as much as previously believed, along with the latest contribution by Miccolis and Goodman to the Journal of Financial Planning, this time focused on the problems with measuring correlation. From there, we look at a few industry articles, from the possibility that FINRA may open up BrokerCheck data to private vendors to better get information to investors, to Mark Tibergien suggesting how to determine which parts of your firm you should or should not outsource. On the investment side, the focus turns to PIMCO’s launch of an actively-managed ETF version of their flagship PIMCO Total Return fund, a primer on how the Euro breakup might go (it’s not as bad as the media makes it out to be), and the latest quarterly letter from Grantham. We also look at two interesting recent articles from the New York Times, one by Robert Shiller on how high IQ investors actually invest differently, and another discussing how companies study shopper habits to market more effectively, and conclude with a quick review of the latest US News and World Report “Best Jobs in 2012” ranking which lists Financial Adviser at #23. Enjoy the reading!