Today is October 19, 2011. It is the 23rd anniversary of the Black Monday stock market crash of 1987, and in a few months we will "celebrate" the 6-month anniversary of the May 6, 2010 Flash Crash. With our recent obsession about crashes, I've begun to wonder: what is it about market crashes that scares us so much?
Any financial planner who has worked with a client through some "market turbulence" or an outright bear market is well aware of the stress that market uncertainty can bring to the client. But how often do we look at the stress that market uncertainty brings to the financial planner vis-a-vis the client relationship?
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.