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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...

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...

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...

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...

Shedding early light on President Barack Obama's economic legacy

May 8, 2016

Fervor around the presidential campaign last week saw Indiana make headlines in its primary vote that helped solidify the likely candidates who will go head-to-head for the top office in the land in November. Though President Barack Obama still...

Keep your eye on the Puerto Rico bond saga

May 8, 2016

Puerto Rico's debt default should be a lesson for investors and their advisers: Even apparently low-risk investments, such as municipal bond mutual funds, must be monitored regularly. And the default shows once again that high returns probably...

College debt is a burden to all

May 1, 2016

Outstanding college debt now exceeds $1.3 trillion, a burden not only for the students who are on the hook to pay it back, but their families and the entire nation. Once students graduate, the loans they must start paying off crowd out spending...

Clients still need Social Security advice

April 24, 2016

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 took the wind out of the sails of many advisers who had been looking forward to using a Social Security claiming strategy known as file and suspend on behalf of their baby boomer clients. The option, which was...

Chinese acquisition of AssetMark raises questions

April 17, 2016

The Chinese are coming! The Chinese are coming! They're coming to the U.S. investment advice market, as reported by Alessandra Malito. Huatai Securities Co., a Nanjing, China-based securities firm, has acquired AssetMark Inc., a Concord, Calif.,-based...

Is securitizing health care loans a workable solution for accessing high-cost medical treatments?

April 17, 2016

Can securitized debt instruments, those same products that helped inflate the housing-market bubble and played a major role in the 2008 financial crisis, be used to finance the cost of catastrophic health care expenses? A small group of big...

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