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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...

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...

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...

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...

Bright side of the new DOL fiduciary rule: Tech and efficiency

April 24, 2016

Well, it's finally happening. The Labor Department's fiduciary rule has landed, and the effects of the historic final rule announced April 6 are starting to ripple through the financial advisory industry. But for all the bellyaching surrounding...

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...

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...

A DOL fiduciary rule everyone can live with

April 10, 2016

For months, the Labor Department has been assuring members of the financial advice industry and other interested parties that it was listening to them and carefully considering the thousands of comment letters it received about its proposed...

Number of mutual fund share classes boggles the mind

April 10, 2016

As investing becomes more complex, one might assume that the mutual fund industry, representing one of the most user-friendly investment products ever created, would strive to keep it simple. But judging by its innovative use of multiple share...

The road to retirement just got rockier

April 3, 2016

Insurance companies finally are accepting that interest rates are not likely to increase substantially in the foreseeable future and are pushing up the costs of some key forms of insurance — long-term care coverage in particular — which...

Identifying the best active funds

March 27, 2016

The debate over whether actively managed mutual funds are superior to indexed strategies is probably as old as the first mutual fund. But time, combined with mountains of performance data and more creative ways to slice and analyze the data,...

Time to get on board the fiduciary train

March 27, 2016

For better or worse, the fiduciary train has left the station, and financial advisers of every ilk had better be on board. Tens of thousands of brokers, registered investment advisers and those who straddle both sides of the fiduciary fence...

Can robo-advisers be fiduciaries?

March 20, 2016

What does it mean to be a fiduciary? Putting the best interests of the client first through due loyalty and care, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Is a robo-adviser equipped to be loyal and, especially, “to care”? The...

Weeding out rogue brokers

March 13, 2016

A recent academic paper revived the issue of rogue brokers, a problem the industry has been struggling with for some time but has yet to solve. The working paper comes from professors at the University of Minnesota and the University of Chicago,...

Time for advisers to brush up on ESG investing

March 13, 2016

Any financial adviser who has not been asked about socially responsible investing by a client likely will be in the near future, and he or she needs to be well-informed. As reported in last week's issue of InvestmentNews, investments based on...

Steer clear of politics with clients

March 6, 2016

As political seasons go, the current presidential election campaign might seem longer, louder and more animated than most. As InvestmentNews reporter Liz Skinner pointed out in a story, the topic of politics can create a whole new level of practice...

Follow the data to ID the best prospects

March 6, 2016

Advisers who want to build successful advisory practices have long followed a tried-and-true formula: Follow the money. But forward-thinking advisers may want to contemplate an updated version of that popular saying: Follow (and advise) the...

Confirmation quagmire mustn't deter SEC

February 28, 2016

The likelihood of the two SEC nominees being confirmed anytime soon is slim, and getting harder to imagine by the day. But the commission has too much important work to tackle to let that hold them back. Even before the sudden death of Supreme...

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