Enjoy the current installment of “Weekend Reading For Financial Planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the news that the Department of Labor has (at long last) begun enforcement of its Fiduciary Rule, and how (despite multiple pandemic-related delays in the rule’s implementation) many broker-dealers (and even some small RIAs) may still not be in compliance – perhaps because of confusion over how the DOL’s rule differs in practice from the SEC’s already-in-force Regulation Best Interest, but ultimately exacerbated by the DOL’s failure to set a clear framework on how to handle conflicted compensation in the context of a fiduciary standard for everyone who gives financial advice on retirement rollovers.
Also in industry news this week:
- M&A activity in the RIA industry continued at its record pace in 2021, and an increasing supply of funds from private equity firms continues to drive deals with a focus on building and acquiring in-house wealth technology solutions
- A new AdvisorTech Directory launches to allow advisors to search for and browse the full range of advisor technology solutions, and create their own personalized tech stack.
From there, we have several articles on practice management:
- How compensation costs rose for RIAs between 2016 and 2020, particularly amongst experienced employee advisors, and why it takes more than a strong salary to motivate and retain top advisor employees
- Why outsourcing certain tasks to contractors can be more cost- and time-efficient than hiring a full-time employee
- Why cultivating next-generation leadership is an important part of succession planning for RIAs, and the emergence of new training programs to help develop next-generation leaders
We also have a number of articles on taxes:
- Why it may be a good idea for taxpayers to file their 2021 tax returns early, both to receive refunds earlier, and to avoid the processing delays that have plagued the IRS since the start of the pandemic
- How the IRS’s new process for creating an online account is causing a backlash due to its stringent identity verification process and use of facial recognition technology
- Why Vanguard came under criticism after its Target Retirement fund share classes generated a higher-than-expected capital gain distribution in 2021 (though the risk is far from limited to Vanguard funds, as all mutual funds distribute their capital gains each year, especially when faced with net outflows in or after a bull market)
We wrap up with three final articles, all about the benefits and challenges of remote work:
- Why workers are craving flexibility in their work location and hours, and how managers can help promote transparency and equity
- How remote work has blurred the lines between home and work life, and how you can maintain boundaries between the two
- Why a challenging role at work can be superior to having an ‘easy’ job
Enjoy the ‘light’ reading!