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Time for 401(k) plans to step into the modern age

December 4, 2016

The world of work has changed dramatically in the past 20 years, but some of our laws and customs have not kept up with these changes. The result can be harmful for workers who are relying on employer 401(k) savings plans to fund their retirement....

Don't hold your breath on DOL fiduciary rule repeal

November 27, 2016

Congressional Republicans have been urging President-elect Donald Trump to scrap the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, but financial firms trying to adapt to the rule should not hold their breath. Mr. Trump has a great deal on his plate...

Get serious when choosing SEC chief

November 27, 2016

We've only just begun. Those words remind some of us of the 1970s hit by The Carpenters, and others of the long road ahead for the Trump administration, currently choosing its vast workforce to help lead this country. One position of particular...

Donald Trump faces a steep learning curve

November 13, 2016

With Donald Trump's shocking victory over Hillary Clinton last week, America woke up to a new reality. Financial markets churned in the aftermath of the election, with global markets initially plunging before U.S. equity markets rallied last...

Eyes wide shut on DOL fiduciary future

November 6, 2016

As more time elapses and more information trickles out about the Department of Labor's coming fiduciary rule, it is becoming more apparent that parties both inside and outside the regulatory clutch are still largely speculating about what lies...

Finra's sweep of broker-dealer cross-selling may head off problems

November 6, 2016

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.'s sweep of broker-dealer firms seeking data about cross-selling practices is a smart move, and could head off, or at least ameliorate, later problems. The sweep was obviously prompted by the Wells...

A clear view of alternative strategies is a challenge for financial advisers

October 30, 2016

Gauging the value of an alternative investment has been a real challenge for advisers, particularly in the last eight years. Looking at performance and fees doesn't tell the half of it. Liquid alt strategies are meant to dampen risk and/or magnify...

New path for resolving late RIA rollovers

October 30, 2016

As advisers formulate year-end tax strategies, they should familiarize themselves with new rules put out by the IRS regarding late IRA rollovers. Nobody should ever have a late rollover if they can help it. Doing so risks incurring a 10% penalty...

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's bogus charges against SEC's Mary Jo White

October 23, 2016

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. has claimed one head — that of former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, who resigned in the wake of the false account scandal —and now seems to be seeking another, that of SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White. Ms. Warren...

Performance-based pay may lead to problems including fines — and even a tarnished brand

October 23, 2016

Paying staff based on how well they perform makes a lot of sense. Or does it? Two professors who won the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences earlier this month studied performance-based compensation practices — and reported back a cautionary...

Verification key to halting cyber scams

October 16, 2016

The threat of cyberattacks is very real in the financial advice business and has been for some time now. But not all advisers are getting the message. Two weeks ago, a former broker for Wells Fargo Advisers Financial Network was fined $5,000...

Ensuring arbitration awards make it to investors

October 9, 2016

It Is long past time for Finra to address the problem of unpaid arbitration awards to clients of failed financial firms.The issue has been smoldering since at least 2000, when a Government Accountability Office report said the industry needed...

DOL fiduciary rule may finally spark lower fund fees for mutual funds

October 9, 2016

One might assume that the asset management industry wouldn't need something as momentous as the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule to start seeing the light on fees. But that appears to be the case. Or, at least, we hope it will be the case....

How financial advisers can operate in a world without trust

October 2, 2016

Fiduciary — ADJECTIVE. 1. involving trust, especially with regard to the relationship between a trustee and a beneficiary: The company has a fiduciary duty to shareholders. NOUN. 2. a trustee. ORIGIN: late 16th century from the Latin fiduciaries,...

Grappling with retirement health costs

September 25, 2016

It is fairly well-known that Americans are living longer and that medical costs are climbing. How advisers are dealing with these two trends is less clear. There is a good reason why, in the opening paragraph of his cover story last week, InvestmentNews...

SEC should refrain from branding advisers as fraudsters over poor continuity planning

September 18, 2016

Kudos to the Securities and Exchange Commission for shining a spotlight on the importance of succession planning by financial advisory firms. But let's step back and take a deep breath before branding those firms that come up short of the SEC's...

Some penalties, while brutal, are fair

September 11, 2016

The financial advice industry is among the most highly regulated in the country. At times, the advice business can seem like a never-ending struggle to satisfy demanding bureaucrats. In some cases, the actions of regulators can seem heavy-handed,...

Social media in SEC's crosshairs

September 11, 2016

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued further guidance on the use of social media by investment advisers. As reported by InvestmentNews on Sept. 6, the guidance came with the release of the final Form ADV and Investment Advisers...

How Uber and the sharing economy will change the advice industry

September 4, 2016

A notable trend in the new American workforce is the rise of temporary employees, freelancers and independent contractors such as — if you're trying to hail a taxi in New York or any other major U.S. city — the legions of drivers working...

Industry opposition to state retirement plans ignores reality

September 4, 2016

Most advisers would agree that the more people saving for retirement, the better. So the opposition to a recent DOL rule making it easier for states to help businesses not currently offering workplace retirement programs to set up savings plans...

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