On Friday, the Social Security Administration announced that there would be no increase in Social Security benefits for 2011, representing the 2nd consecutive year that Social Security benefits have not increased… and prompting no small amount of outrage from many Americans who feel that they are falling further and further behind in their ability to keep up with their retirement expenses.
For much of the past decade or two, one of the most important qualifications for a "good" mutual fund manager was that he/she keep the fund squarely within the constraints of its Morningstar style box, while hopefully generating some positive alpha. Now, however, an emerging group of managers are overtly bucking the trend, with a new approach of "free range" investing.
As discussion and debate rages on regarding the CFP Board’s proposed 80% fee increase, and the associated public awareness campaign it is intended to support, much of the underlying concern seems to boil down to a simple issue: Is the CFP Board “our” champion? Should it be? Can it be?
A new blog video post by financial planner Tim Maurer makes an interesting point – the very essence of our 6 step financial planning process includes a conflict of interest that we as financial planners must navigate: that while gathering information and setting goals may be the most important step for a client, it’s not the step where we get paid.
If you’ve been watching your email lately, you may have noticed that the CFP Board has been soliciting your input about a potential public awareness campaign to support the visibility of the CFP certification marks for the general public. Well, apparently the input has been gathered, and board is considering its next step – an 80% increase in the annual cost to maintain your CFP designation to help fund the new campaign.
We often evaluate the quality of a conversation by its activity; the pace of the back-and-forth banter can be used as a barometer of how engaged someone is in the discussion. Given our tendency to find comfort in sustained dialogue – thus the phrase "awkward silence" – I was very struck to see the following profound tweet: "Get comfortable with silence. Some of the most important things clients say follows silence."