Enjoy the current installment of “weekend reading for financial planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with a recap of the latest tax plan from Senate Republicans that was released this week, which is similar to the one issued last week by House Republicans, but contains a number of key differences (from excluding estate tax repeal but bringing back the medical expense deduction), setting the stage for challenging compromises as Republicans try to find a way to reconcile the differences between the two in a manner that stays under the $1.5T deficit target (necessary to avoid a Senate Democrat filibuster) but keeps enough Republicans on board to pass the legislation with a narrow 2-seat majority in the Senate.
Also in the news over the past two weeks is the announcement that the final version of a DoL fiduciary delay has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final approval to delay the full implementation of the Best Interests Contract Exemption until July of 2019 (and opening the door for the SEC to begin a rulemaking process of its own in the interim), and the news that Morgan Stanley has withdrawn from the Broker Protocol in what may quickly be an unraveling of the ability of brokers to change broker-dealers (at least, not without messy lawsuits and Temporary Restraining Orders) and cause a compression in the valuation of broker-dealer-based advisory firms.
From there, we have a number of articles on hiring and career development, including why advisory firms should institute a 6-week training and onboarding process for new financial advisors (including and especially for experienced financial advisors who can hit the ground running with clients but need time to be trained in how to do so consistent with the firm’s established processes and procedures), a look at a fascinating Millennial advisor survey that finds young advisors are most likely to leave and go solo between the ages of 26 and 35 (after they have a few years of experience but before becoming “too embedded” in an existing firm), and tips for employee advisors about what they can do to advance their own career and promotion prospects.
We also have a number of advisor technology articles this week, from a review of the latest from Riskalyze as the company continues to expand from “just” risk tolerance software into an increasingly comprehensive advisor platform, a discussion of the latest advisor technology developments at major broker-dealers like Commonwealth, LPL, and Securities America, and why video conferencing technology may prove to be even more disruptive to financial advisors and the delivery of financial advice than robo-advisors.
We wrap up with three interesting articles, all focused around the theme of working outside the office for improved productivity: the first explores the growing trend of conducting business meetings outside the office (from business owners meeting with key partners, to employees meeting with each other) as a way to improve both employee creativity and improve employee-to-employee connections; the second looks at the latest research that helps to explain why people can be productive in coffee shops (as it turns out, ambient noise is good and helps our creativity) but why open office plans are so inefficient (because ‘background noise’ from people we know tends to actually distract us), and a controlled experiment study in the benefits of working from home that found a whopping 13.5% increase in productivity by allowing employees to work from home… along with a massive 50% decrease in employee turnover rates!
Enjoy the “light” reading!