Below is a list of current presentations that Michael has available for your event. You should contact Michael directly if you wish to discuss having him speak on a topic not listed, or if you are interested in a half-day or full-day workshop.

Future of Financial Planning in the Digital Age (1 hr)  *Updated for 2015!

This session is designed to educate financial advisors about the changing landscape coming over the next 10 years for financial planning as it truly enters the digital age, and how it will change client trust and communication, both for existing clients and in developing new relationships. In this session, we will explore how financial planning will undergo radical change in the coming decade as the profession truly enters the digital age, from financial planning "apps" for various devices, to what technology will - and won't - replace in the financial planning relationship, to how financial planners must communicate to survive and thrive.

Social Media for Financial Planners (1 hr)

The rise of social media in just a few short years has created some of the largest technology companies in the world, as Facebook crosses the line for 1 billion users. Yet at the same time, change has been so rapid that many industries, including financial services, are struggling to keep up with the changing technology. In this session, we'll look at what social media is, how it fits as a part of a financial planner's (referral) marketing strategy within the broader context of an "inbound marketing" approach, with examples, tips, and best practices about how to begin to use social media in your own advisory firm.

Generating Tax Alpha With Effective Asset Location (1 hr)  *New for 2015!

Asset allocation – where assets are invested amongst a diversified range of investment securities and asset classes – is a staple of portfolio design. However, the reality when investing for individuals is that a decision must be made not only about how to allocate assets, but also about where to locate those assets – in other words, which investments or asset classes will be held in taxable investment accounts, which will be held in tax-deferred retirement plans, and which will be held in tax-free accounts. Without changing the underlying allocation, effective asset location decisions create the opportunity to maximize tax efficiency and allow for better compounding growth, creating a form of “free” tax alpha that can enhance long-term returns without any increase in the risk of the investments themselves!

Understanding Longevity Annuities And Their Potential Role In Retirement Income (1.5 hrs)  *New for 2015!

A longevity annuity is similar in concept to an immediate annuity, but the lump sum payment is converted not to income for life beginning immediately, but instead with payments that may not begin until the distant future. Such a trade-off allows longevity annuities to provide “income that cannot be outlived” but at a fraction of the cost of a traditional annuity product. In this session, we look at how longevity annuities work, the ways they can fit into an overall retirement income strategy, how they compare to available investment alternatives, their caveats and concerns, and explore the potential role that they may play for retirement income in the future.

Cutting Edge Tax Planning Developments and Opportunities (1 hr or 2 hr)  *Updated for 2015!

This session is designed to educate financial advisors about the latest changes and developments in tax laws and regulations from Congress, the Treasury, the IRS, and the courts. Content will cover recent tax acts, important regulatory changes from the Treasury, recent actions and guidance from the IRS, and any other notable events. Because content is designed to remain continuously current and ongoing, topic details will change over time as developments unfold.

Estate Planning in 2015 and Beyond (1 hr)  *Updated for 2015!

With the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), Congress not only averted the fiscal cliff at the last possible moment; it also introduced the start of a new era of tax planning, as nearly all of ATRA’s most significant provisions for income and estate planning are permanent, bringing an end to a decade’s worth of “temporary” tax laws in constant danger of looming sunset. In this presentation, we look in depth at the new estate tax rules that were made permanent in 2013, and their financial planning implications, from the permanence of portability to the reduced need for bypass trusts, and how future Federal and state legislation may further change the picture. With an new estate tax regime for the foreseeable future, estate planning in 2014 and beyond has changed substantially from what it was just a few years ago!

Social Security Benefits Planning for Couples (1 hr)

This session is designed to educate financial advisors about the unique technical rules that apply to Social Security benefits for couples, from individual to spousal to survivor benefits, the varying impact of early or late benefits applications on those benefits types, and the unique special elections for File and Suspend and Restricted Applications. Through examples and case studies, advisors learn how to most effectively plan for and optimize Social Security benefits for couples.

Setting A Proper Asset Allocation Glidepath In Retirement: Should Equities Decline In Retirement, Or Is A Rising Equity Glidepath Actually Best? (1 hr)

Traditionally, asset allocation advice in retirement has been fairly straightforward: retirees should maintain their equity exposure through rebalancing, and perhaps decrease it slightly as they age and their time horizon shortens. Yet recent research into retirement asset allocation finds that in fact, the opposite approach may actually be best – rather than decreasing equity exposure in retirement by default, the optimal path is actually to start more conservatively in the early years, and increase equity exposure through retirement. This helps to defend against the key danger – sequence-of-return risk – by taking less equity exposure in the early years and throughout retirement, but still add to equities in the limited situations where it actually becomes relevant and necessary!

Understanding the New World Of Health Insurance (1 hr)

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010, but many of its most significant provisions take effect starting in 2014. In this session, we take a deep look at the new health insurance coverage rules, including the creating of essential health benefits, the rollout of the new health insurance exchanges, the new premium assistance tax credit, and the new individual and employer health insurance mandates and how to manage them. While the rules of “Obamacare” have been highly controversial, the reality is that they are taking effect, and whether liked or not will have a significant impact on health insurance and tax planning opportunities for clients in the years to come!

Understanding the New Medicare Taxes (1 hr)

With the passage of new health care legislation in late March of 2010 – now upheld by the Supreme Court – Congress has implemented a series of new Medicare taxes on both earned and unearned income, and the new rules took effect in 2013. In this session, we will explore the technical rules that will apply to both of the new taxes, and explore the planning implications and potential techniques to manage or mitigate the impact of this new tax.

Recent Developments & New Opportunities in Long-Term Care Insurance (1 hr)

As the long-term care insurance industry matures, significant changes have been underway in recent years in the companies that offer LTC insurance and the nature of the policies available. These trends have been exacerbated by an ongoing low interest rate environment, and unexpectedly high retention of existing long-term care insurance policies as the need for coverage grows. In this presentation, we review the recent trends and developments, from consolidation in the industry and the elimination of lifetime benefits and limited-pay premium options, to the rising popularity of new hybrid LTC insurance contracts that pairs the coverage together with a life or annuity policy as a new form of “asset-based” long-term care protection.

Applying Behavioral Finance In Your Financial Planning Practice (1 hr)

An increasing volume of research is making clear what financial planners have long known – that clients do not always act in a purely rational manner. But it’s one thing to recognize that clients sometimes make irrational decisions, and another to really understand what drives those decisions and how to help clients avoid the most damaging mistakes. In this session, advisors will learn what the behavioral finance research has shown about our not-always-rational decision-making process, and how to consider making adjustments to the delivery of their financial planning services to help clients achieve more desirable outcomes through better communication and enhanced trust.

Modern Portfolio Theory 2.0 (1.5 hrs)

This session is designed for financial advisors who design and manage portfolios using the principles of Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT). Participants will gain a new perspective on the origins of MPT, how it was intended to be used, and the ways that the inputs to MPT can be refined in the future to create more dynamic and efficient portfolios that address the challenges that emerged in the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

Understanding Tactical Asset Allocation (1 hr)

This session is designed for financial advisors who have managed portfolios using traditional buy-and-hold oriented techniques, who want a better understanding of the tactical asset allocation approach. In this session, participants will gain an understanding of some of the theoretical underpinnings of buy-and-hold strategic asset allocation and the tactical asset allocation alternative, and some of the practical approaches used and challenges faced by those who adopt tactical asset allocation.

Rethinking Risk Tolerance for Retiring Clients (1 hr)

This session is designed for financial advisors that work with clients in or near retirement. Participants will gain a new perspective on how to address risk with their clients, why risk tolerance questionnaires don’t always produce the results or interaction they expect, and how to ensure that portfolios are optimally designed for retiring clients.

Safe Withdrawal Rates: Mechanics, Uses, and Caveats (1 hr)

This session is designed for financial advisors who consult with clients about retirement planning issues. Participants will learn about how to apply the current safe withdrawal rate research to guide clients through safe spending in retirement, while also learning the important caveats to beware of when using these techniques.

The Impact of Market Valuation on Safe Withdrawal Rates (1 hr)

This session is designed for financial advisors who consult with clients about retirement planning issues. Participants will gain an understanding about how market valuation can affect long-term investment returns, and in turn how an evaluation of the current stock market environment - as measured by stock market valuation - can and should impact the recommendation about how much a pool of investment assets can sustain in retirement withdrawals.

Expanding the Framework of Safe Withdrawal Rates (1 hr or 2 hr)

This session is designed for financial advisors who consult with clients about retirement planning issues. Participants will gain an understanding about how fees, investment costs, and taxes can affect sustainable spending from a portfolio, and how to layer adjustments for taxes and expenses on top of other safe withdrawal rate rules. In the extended version of this session, participants will also explore how the use of additional factors - such as market valuation and dynamic portfolio changes - can further adjust the expected levels of sustainable spending for a given portfolio.

Taking A Fresh Look At Reverse Mortgages (1 hr)

For most of their history, reverse mortgages have been rather unpopular with financial planners, due both to their relatively high costs, and the fact that they are typically viewed as a resource or tool of last resort. Yet the reality is that use of reverse mortgages has exploded over the past decade, aided more recently by a newer, lower cost option, and several recent research articles in the Journal of Financial Planning have shown ways that reverse mortgages can be used proactively to enhance retirement income sustainability. In this presentation, we review the technical mechanics of HECM reverse mortgage loans, the costs involved, the emerging reverse mortgage strategies and applications that should be considered for clients, and the caveats and concerns that remain.

Advanced Planning Concepts in Long-Term Care Insurance (1.5 hrs)

This session is designed for financial advisors who are familiar with the basic concepts of long-term care insurance, but wish to advance their knowledge about how to apply long-term care insurance with clients. The content focuses on understand some of the more advanced contract details in long-term care insurance policies, addresses advanced issues of how to select policy features and benefits, examines how to apply long-term care insurance for clients of varying wealth levels, and explores ways to model long-term care insurance needs for clients.

Life and Death Tax Planning for Annuities (1 hr or 2 hr)

As the use of annuities increases, particularly amongst baby boomers planning for retirement, professional advisors face more and more situations where they must properly report on and plan for annuity transactions. However, annuities are subject to unique rules of taxation. In this session, we will cover the income and estate tax treatment of deferred annuities during life and death, with a particular focus on the complex rules and significant areas of ambiguity that apply to post-death distribution requirements from deferred annuities, and including some of the latest IRS rulings!

Evaluating Existing Deferred Annuities: What Every Advisor Needs to Know (1.5 hrs)

This session is especially designed for financial planners, attorneys, and accountants who do not regularly work with annuities, but are often faced with clients that ask for guidance or insight about an existing annuity contract. The content covers the key information that every advisors needs to gather and understand to provide proper guidance to a client, with a focus on planning opportunities and holding or exit strategies.

Trusts as Beneficiaries of IRAs (1 hr)

This session is designed to educate financial advisors about the complex rules that apply when trusts as named as beneficiaries of IRAs. Participants will learn about the requirements for trusts to become eligible for “see-through” trust treatment, allowing beneficiaries to stretch distributions over their lifetimes, as well as the important provisions to be aware of when viewing a client’s trust to avoid planning disasters. In the extended session, additional time is spent exploring common problems that occur when trusts as named as beneficiaries, how to avoid them, and the planning strategies and opportunities of naming various types of common trusts as IRA beneficiary.

Financial Planning Implications of the Alternative Minimum Tax (1 hr or 2 hr)

This session will give you key information on understanding AMT and its complications, how to evaluate client exposure, and the implications and planning strategies that stem from AMT’s expanding reach over your clients. Think you don't have clients who will be concerned about AMT? Think again. Your clients have become increasingly exposed to AMT in recent years, and the trend will continue now that the fiscal cliff legislation has made current AMT rules permanent! If you don’t know how to spot potential AMT triggers and manage them, you had better learn – now!

To Roth Or Not To Roth (1 hr)

This session is designed to educate financial advisors about the situations where is does, and does not, make sense to consider a Roth contribution or a Roth conversion for a client. Participants will learn a framework to evaluate the key factors that cause the Roth decision to potentially create - or destroy - economic value for a client over time. In the second half of the session, participants will learn about numerous popular Roth conversion strategies, and gain an understanding about which ones are and are not truly effective for clients.

Understanding the Next Generation of Financial Services Professionals (1 hr)

Today’s emerging young financial planners, members of Generation X and Generation Y, show distinct differences in their goals and behaviors in the workplace relative to the Baby Boomers, leading to a broad array of communication and management challenges in developing young talent and succession plans. In this session, advisors will learn to understand some of the key differentiators in workplace behaviors between the generations regarding such issues as attitudes about time, loyalty, authority, teamwork, and technology, and how to help bridge the gap by understanding and relating across these differences.