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SEC's proposed advice rule is about as clear as mud

September 22, 2018

The effort by the Securities and Exchange Commission to clarify for consumers the differing standards of financial professionals could be all for naught. While we give the SEC credit for attempting to salvage some of the momentum and investor-protection...

Market swings are inevitable, so help your clients focus on overall financial health

September 17, 2018

We've heard a lot of painful remembrances of the slow but steady market drain of 2008-09 over the past week — or, really, since September hit. What has become known as the Great Recession has stuck with many of us, mentally. Despite a stock...

Many young staffers have benefits needs beyond a simple 401(k)

September 1, 2018

Advisers often bemoan the shortage of talent that's preventing a natural growth in their business — if only they could find the right person, and keep them. The trickle of graduates coming out of financial planning schools is one factor, but...

DOL fiduciary rule might be dead, but its ghost hovers over the financial advice industry

August 18, 2018

The early bird doesn't always get the worm. Financial firms that moved quickly to prepare for full implementation of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule and now want to reverse those policies must move cautiously to unwind the changes on...

Viewpoints differ on diversity and inclusion, but this we agree on: There are many ways to improve

August 4, 2018

Diversity is​ viewed in very different ways by readers of InvestmentNews. This came into sharp focus when reading the responses to a survey on diversity we conducted in July as a sounding board for this week's issue. This edition of InvestmentNews...

Designations matter to your clients

July 21, 2018

It is not uncommon these days to hear certain corners of the financial advice industry tout their fiduciary status as a major appeal among clients and potential clients. But the truth is, most consumers and many current clients are still finding...

Finra's disclosure on use of fine money a good first step to more transparency

July 7, 2018

The Financial​ Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. is to be applauded for revealing for the first time how it uses the money it collects in fines. This is the latest in a series of steps Finra has taken as it moves to improve transparency,...

Independence of auditors critical when easing broker regulations

June 23, 2018

A​ pair of sister​ bills introduced in the House and Senate this month appear to be just the type of reasonable regulatory relief small businesses in the advice industry are clamoring for. The bipartisan legislation, known as the Small Business...

A more expansive future requires multiple pricing models

June 16, 2018

Charging fees based on assets under management has served the financial planning industry well for the past few decades. But the modern financial advice business is starting to cut varied paths toward different pricing models that might be better...

IPO filing could usher in new era of legitimacy for RIAs

June 2, 2018

You would be forgiven if you skipped past the news that Focus Financial Partners filed for an initial public stock offering in the days leading up to Memorial Day weekend. The move, however, is something registered investment advisers will want...

No good reason not to support auto-enrollment retirement plans

May 26, 2018

The financial advice industry should get behind state efforts to enroll workers who don't have access to 401(k) plans in state-sponsored auto-IRA programs. So far, the industry has been less than enthusiastic about plans such as Oregon's version,...

Transparency, credibility, fairness: Finra's decision to explain rationale for penalties is a welcome one

May 19, 2018

The object​ of all justice systems should be, in the words of Gilbert and Sullivan: "To let the punishment fit the crime." Systems of justice are more likely to achieve the dual objectives of punishment and deterrence when all can see that...

Financial schemes against seniors are most often committed by people closest to them

May 19, 2018

There are plenty of scams that strangers come up with to trick the elderly into giving up their money, but most financial schemes against seniors are committed by those who are closest to the victims: family, friends and caregivers. While that...

Financial advisers must manage retirees' aversion to risk with behavioral finance skills

May 12, 2018

Any seasoned financial adviser already knows that the hard work of helping clients save and invest for retirement does not end with a client's retirement date. But based on where we are in terms of market cycles, advisers might soon find themselves...

It's time to educate your clients, and yourself, about alternative investments

May 5, 2018

Individual investors are being tempted by alternative investments as they seek greater diversification of their portfolios, so advisers should be preparing to answer questions about them from their clients. Alternative investments generally...

A pat on the back for progress, but Finra has a long way to go

April 28, 2018

A​ year after launching a top-to-bottom review of its operations, called Finra 360, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. last week issued a 40-page progress report. As far as these types of assessments go, it is fairly typical...

SEC advice rule: Time for brokers, advisers to weigh in

April 21, 2018

The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed a new rule governing investment advice, and all interested parties should make their voices heard through constructive feedback during the 90-day comment period. Who better to share their opinions...

Beware: Regulators won't take excuses for reverse-churning

April 14, 2018

With regulators​ zeroing in on reverse-churning, and lawsuits popping up around the practice, advisers should be paying attention. The concern stems from conflicts of interest that advisers face when deciding whether to move clients from commission-based...

Like it or not, annuities are coming to retirement plans

April 7, 2018

Some would argue that annuities and 401(k) plans should never mix. To those individuals, we say brace yourselves, because legislation is being considered in Congress that could clear a path for more employers to offer annuity products in their...

Industry and regulators need to safeguard broker data

March 31, 2018

The cybersecurity​ breach last year at Equifax Inc., which exposed the personal information of at least 145 million individuals worldwide to hackers, alerted businesses and governments to the need to constantly review and tighten their security...

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