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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...

SEC's courts still appear biased

August 21, 2016

Earlier this month, the U.S Court of Appeals upheld a Securities and Exchange Commission ruling against Raymond Lucia Sr., a former investment adviser, in a case that exemplifies the appearance of unfairness in the commission's use of administrative...

New Finra execs should toughen investor protection rules

August 7, 2016

As the changing of the guard takes place at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. this month, new CEO Robert W. Cook and Chairman John J. Brennan would do well to revisit some of Finra's more important investor protection proposals...

Finra, it's high time for transparency

July 24, 2016

The Finra board met recently and appointed a new chairman. It also took action on a few rule proposals. It's likely the public found out only after the fact that these decisions were even on the table. So what's next for the board? And when...

ETF liquidity a growing point of financial industry contention

July 10, 2016

For a lot of financial advisers, the primary appeal of exchange-traded funds boils down to low fees and liquidity. There is no disputing the low fees, which provide investors with varied and broad market exposure for mere basis points, in most...

Advisers need to get real with clients about what reasonable investment returns look like

June 26, 2016

Hope and confidence are good attributes to have, especially when one is young — but there is such a thing as wild optimism. A recent survey by the British asset management company Schroders, which has $467 billion in assets under management,...

Skeptical advisers should reexamine their attitudes toward reverse mortgages

June 19, 2016

Many financial advisers have jaundiced opinions about reverse mortgages, but as Mary Beth Franklin noted in last week's issue of InvestmentNews, many of the weaknesses of the original reverse mortgages have been fixed. In other words, these...

DOL must keep dialogue open on fiduciary rule

June 12, 2016

Whatever the reason, the sudden withdrawal of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Timothy Hauser from a panel at the Insured Retirement Institute conference June 6 was a blunder. Mr. Hauser had an opportunity to clarify some of the issues, and...

Firms on the hook for hiring bad brokers

June 12, 2016

The Massachusetts Securities Division last week fired the latest salvo in the campaign to rid the brokerage industry of rogue brokers. The state announced a sweep of 241 securities firms with above-average numbers of reps with current misconduct...

Make clients aware of filial laws that could wreak havoc on the financial security of millions

June 5, 2016

Longer life expectancies, coupled with skyrocketing nursing home costs, mean more retirees face the prospect of outliving their savings. The situation also jeopardizes the retirement security of their children, many of whom are members of the...

Raymond James' $17M fine over anti-money-laundering failures should be a wake-up call

May 29, 2016

The industry got a wake-up call — or perhaps it's more fitting to say a colossal kick in the keister — when one of its biggest players was hit recently with a whopping fine for compliance failures. We're talking about the $17 million fine...

Advisers should get behind a bill to strengthen senior financial protection

May 22, 2016

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine needs help to push her bill to strengthen protections against senior financial abuse through the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The bill would provide liability protection for financial industry workers...

The perils of investment crowdfunding

May 22, 2016

The Securities and Exchange Commission's crowdfunding regulations went into effect last week, which means financial advisers have another reason to pay close attention to this fast-evolving and largely misunderstood space. To begin with, we're...

Advisers' role in retiree health care

May 15, 2016

What's the single biggest expense that your clients will face once they've retired? Housing? Recreation? How about health care costs? Between Medicare premiums and the portion of medical bills Medicare doesn't pay, health care costs are actually...

Steering clear of estate food fights

May 15, 2016

The Los Angeles court ruling last week on the advanced health care directive of media mogul Sumner Redstone should serve as a reminder to all of us to plan ahead, especially financial advisers. Time catches up to everyone, and when your mind...

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