Features

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Whistleblowers’ big bucks come with big risks for financial advisers

The SEC has awarded more than $738 million to 134 whistleblowers since 2012. But becoming a tipster could involve sacrifices.

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Beware: Enrolling in Medicare can nix contributing to an HSA

HSAs have no annual use-it-or-lose-it requirements, and balances can be carried forward from year to year and withdrawn tax-free in retirement to pay for medical expenses, such as Medicare and long-term care premiums — but not Medigap premiums.

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Dramatic changes to legislation seem unlikely despite full Democratic control

An evenly divided Senate might tweak rather than overhaul investment-advice policy, such as the treatment of rollovers, while resisting some tax increases Biden advocated during the election.

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What the Biden administration really means for fintech

While conventional wisdom suggests a Democratic administration will move to strengthen regulations, there's potential for focus on how fintech can be used to help accomplish the new administration’s goal of expanding access to financial services.

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Broker-dealers brace for cyberthreats

2020 was the year that independent broker-dealers needed to rely on technology more than ever, with home-office staff and a large number of advisers working from home or in remote offices. What if criminals breach a broker-dealer's cyber wall?

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Market watchers search for silver linings in 2021

Will more stimulus, curbing COVID-19 and releasing pent-up demand fuel a second-half surge?

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2020: The year Wall Street lost the wealth management race

COVID-19 slowed down but did not halt the flow of advisers fleeing wirehouse firms for the independent channel

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Not even a global pandemic could derail RIA M&A momentum

Deal watchers say 2021 will be another record year

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State fiduciary rules slow down amid pandemic, political transition

Efforts to implement fiduciary rules in New Jersey, Nevada and Massachusetts are in limbo

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Darlings of 2020, ETFs expected to carry momentum into 2021

Strong performance and low fees means the next leg of ETF growth might be just getting started

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Trump administration pushes regulations across finish line in waning days

DOL rules affecting investment advice and the use of ESG factors may be vulnerable under Biden

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A watershed year for wealthtech adoption

A confluence of environmental changes, like work from home orders, virtual events and an economic recession, have forced advisers to embrace tech tools in a matter of months

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Breaking away from a brokerage during a pandemic is hard … but rewarding

Those RIAs that made the move this year say that the effort has been worth it

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RIAs see business go south

Large registered investment advisers in the Northeast have watched their assets diminish in 2020, even as the broader market reached fresh highs

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401(k) lawsuits explode in 2020

New cases were filed against employers, and insurers have tamped down limits on fiduciary liability coverage

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How advisers are helping clients rethink their kids’ college experience

Even high-net-worth families are questioning their return on investment as campus life is roiled by COVID-19

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How women-led fintechs are combating the gender wealth gap

Female-led fintechs use digital platforms to curate content and tools aimed at deconstructing systemic issues that have kept women from investing

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Free financial planning apps enter the equation

The tools provided by big players like Fidelity and Schwab are a plus for investors just starting out, but what do they mean for smaller advisory firms?

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Georgia Senate races could determine fate of Biden agenda

Even 50-50 Democratic control presents challenges for the president-elect

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Getting annuities onto 401(k) plan menus

SECURE Act provisions providing plan fiduciaries with some legal protection, requirements for lifetime income disclosures on 401(k) statements and a volatile stock market all bode well for these products