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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...

Does the SEC really need to define 'best interest'?

June 9, 2018

Best interest. Act in the client's best interest. Put the client's best interest ahead of your own. Regulation Best Interest. The "interest" part of that phrase is pretty easy to understand. Words such as well-being, benefit and advantage are...

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...

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...

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...

A technology response to the DOL fiduciary rule

March 20, 2016

Spring has arrived, and millions of Americans adjusted by following the annual ritual of shifting their clocks forward on March 13. It's also now time to spring ahead on preparations for the final draft of the Department of Labor's fiduciary...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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