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Exiting broker protocol may not be good move for industry

November 11, 2017

Two weeks ago, Morgan Stanley kicked over what could be the first domino in a sweeping shift away from broker protocol policies, and the financial services industry is still trying to figure out what it all means. From Morgan Stanley's perspective,...

Tax reform: Advisers will have plenty to digest as legislation works its way through Congress

November 5, 2017

And we're off. The starting pistol has been fired in the race to get a tax-reform bill to President Donald J. Trump before the year ends. Financial advisers should keep a close eye on changes made to the proposed tax bill put forth last Thursday...

It's time to speak up about sexual harassment in the workplace

October 28, 2017

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, tens of thousands of women — and some men — have started sharing their stories of sexual abuse and harassment under the #metoo hashtag. Men account for 84.3% of the financial adviser community,...

Rushed tax reform would cause more harm than a delay

October 21, 2017

Time is running out for Congress to propose and pass a well-thought-out tax​ reform bill that includes a tax cut, and that's not a bad thing. The House of Representatives is scheduled to adjourn for the year on Dec. 15 and the Senate on Dec....

Trump's tax blueprint opaque on fate of deferrals for retirement savings

September 30, 2017

A faint cheer​ could be heard all over the nation from financial advisers who structure their businesses as pass-through entities when the Republican tax-reform framework was released last Wednesday. For the highest-income advisers, it would...

Data breaches ratchet up risks for financial advisory firms

October 7, 2017

Financial advisory​ firms of all kinds have received fair warning that they must strengthen their data security and client identity protocols. The warning came in the form of the revelation of the huge Equifax cybersecurity breach, the Securities...

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...

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...

Do you really want states to take the lead on fiduciary?

September 23, 2017

The Trump​ administration's proposed delay in the implementation of key parts of the Labor Department's fiduciary rule, and possible elimination of them, has opened a can of worms for the financial services industry. Those segments of the...

Doing the math on RIA exams

February 14, 2016

Two promising developments in the push to boost the number of advisers examined by the SEC each year have taken shape in the last couple of weeks. But don't hold your breath for that knock on the door from an examiner just yet. The first is...

Don't tune out crowdfunding

November 15, 2015

The moment many advisers hear the term “crowdfunding,” they tune out. Crowdfunding is for the unwashed masses, for Kickstarter fans, for small-time investing neophytes. It's not a place for real investing. Well, advisers can continue to...

Richard Ketchum's Finra heir must prioritize investors

November 8, 2015

When Richard Ketch-um hangs up his sheriff's badge sometime in the near future, it will truly mark the end of an era. The career regulator became the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.'s chief executive in 2009 in the middle of the...

The next few years are going to hurt

November 1, 2015

Some economists are predicting an era of slow growth for the foreseeable future, and if they are correct, that would have significant implications for investors. Last week, the Commerce Department's preliminary estimate of the rate of increase...

Action must be taken to make Finra more accountable

September 2, 2017

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.'s mission is to protect investors from fraud and bad practices. It does this by writing and enforcing rules and regulations governing the nation's 3,700 broker-dealers and the 631,000 brokers...

Look before you leap. A cliché, but...

September 13, 2015

Two disparate pieces of recent news highlighted the risks of knee-jerk reactions. A year ago, when celebrity bond manager Bill Gross left the firm he co-founded in the 1970s, Pacific Investment Management Co., investors fled his flagship Pimco...

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...

Stock buybacks: Who benefits?

August 9, 2015

Stock buybacks are once again in the news, with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticizing companies for spending their cash on buybacks rather than investing it. Buybacks have been controversial for many years. Defenders...

SEC in-house justice system stacks the deck

July 26, 2015

The Securities and Exchange Commission must revisit aspects of its use of in-house judges to try civil enforcement cases. The agency must be fair in legal proceedings against the financial community and, just as importantly, it must appear to...

Millennials make good customers

June 28, 2015

Finally, there is some good news about millennials and retirement saving that financial advisers can build upon. A new survey by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. has found that millennials are focused on saving for retirement despite having college...

Do your homework on securities-backed loans

June 21, 2015

Just as the stock market stalls out at near-record highs, registered investment advisers are stepping into the field of securities-backed loans. On one hand, an increase in the popularity of such loans makes sense. Because the stock market is...

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