Results for "Outside-IN"

Nov 15, 2018, 5:54 PM EST

Why seniors need travel insurance


By Mary Beth Franklin

When your newly retired clients chat about their plans for an upcoming dream vacation abroad, are you prepared to raise the topic of travel insurance?While younger clients might dismiss the added expense as unnecessary, older clients should seriously consider such protection. Why? Travel insurance protects against more than lost luggage and weather-related travel delays. It includes coverage for medical care in a foreign country and, if necessary, medical evacuation. That's critical because Medicare, the primary insurance for Americans age 65 and older, stops at the U.S. border, and even the most generous supplemental Medigap policy provides limited coverage overseas.Michael Kirsh, a financial planner in New York City specializing in retirement, has personal experience with travel-related medical costs. When his elderly father-in-law took a trip to Hong Kong eight years ago, he became seriously ill and was hospitalized for over a month.... Read full post

Nov 13, 2018, 11:12 AM EST

Barry Ritholtz defends Wall Street, warts and all

NYSE facade

By Barry Ritholtz

I have railed against financial service industry excesses, such as over-the-top fees, the manipulation of investor emotions, the pursuit of alpha at the expense of beta and the failure to make clients' interests the priority via a fiduciary rule. I even wrote a book detailing the evils of privatized profits and socialized losses.So it is with some amusement that I occasionally find myself defending Wall Street from critics like Vanguard founder Jack Bogle. In his 2010 book, "Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life," he noted that the "financial system subtracts value." Usually, I am simpatico with Mr. Bogle's philosophy, but enough has happened in the ensuing years for us to revisit this statement — and find it wanting. Defending the financial system is fraught with danger. Let's see if I can escape unscathed.A few caveats: Bogle and I agree more than we disagree. I'm with him that finance is way too expensive; this... Read full post

Nov 12, 2018, 5:49 PM EST

The new normal of succession planning


By Joni Youngwirth

Advisers across the industry have been encouraged to get their continuity and succession plans in place. By and large, they've heeded the advice. Still, advisers approaching retirement see the same statistics they show their clients about more people working beyond the traditional retirement age. And like their clients, they, too, want to remain relevant. This has many advisers reconsidering when to stop working or what type of career to pursue next. How does this changing viewpoint affect the established succession plan? As you might imagine, some advisers who have found a successor, trained that individual and have confidence in his or her ability to lead the business may be having second thoughts. They may put off signing the buy-sell agreement, which, in turn, puts them at risk of losing their heir apparent. On the other end of the spectrum are the younger advisers who expected to become part of a partnership but are instead left... Read full post

Nov 12, 2018, 4:18 PM EST

Can financial advisers really achieve a paperless back office?


By Elisa Garcia

In 1975, Businessweek described the workplace of the future, predicting "the paperless office" in which nearly all day-to-day activities were executed and managed by technology. Today, due in large part to the advent of electronic communication, document management and storage applications, financial advisers are getting closer to the concept of a paperless office as more and more look to streamline the operational side of their businesses. But there are holdouts — one report shows that fewer than half of advisers are fully leveraging technology — who may be hesitating to take advantage of digital solutions because they fear the learning curve, or because they don't know how to apply the solutions to their business, or even where to begin. Here's a look at what it takes to make the shift to digital back-office processes and why advisers need to make "going paperless" a strategic priority.... Read full post

Nov 12, 2018, 2:13 PM EST

Ask the Ethicist: Ethical lapses can destroy a career


By Dan Candura

I came across a lawsuit involving a dispute between a financial planner and a client. That is somewhat unusual as most disputes are settled through arbitration — most firms insert language in their investment agreements that force disgruntled clients to file claims through Finra arbitration rather than the courts. This case, however, reads like a soap opera, with sex, lies, betrayal and blackmail in abundance. And there are lessons about how ethical lapses can destroy a career.The advisory relationship began when a wealthy couple in a small rural community started working with a local financial adviser employed by a national firm. All went well for a number of years. But the relationship was interrupted when the adviser moved to a neighboring state, suddenly and unannounced. The wealthy couple felt abandoned and the account wasn't actively managed for a couple of years until the adviser returned and rekindled the advisory... Read full post

Nov 12, 2018, 10:48 AM EST

Transaction loans for independent advisers seeking a partial business sale


By Scott Wetzel

As the succession planning transaction market continues to accelerate, independent financial advisers who are nearing retirement and seek a partial liquidity event as part of their succession plan are realizing that prevailing wealth management industry lending options may not accommodate their needs.Take the recent example that I encountered of an independent adviser based in the Midwest who has built significant wealth over the course of his 30-plus year career, most of which was concentrated in his wealth management business. At 60, he had no interest in retiring, but he wanted to increase his liquidity and diversify his net worth, as he had advised countless of his own clients to do over the years. When he initiated his search for financing for a partial sale to his two junior partners while maintaining a controlling interest in the practice, his plans were quickly stymied by the fact that a propensity of wealth management... Read full post

Nov 7, 2018, 4:52 PM EST

Millennials are a growth engine for 401(k) advisers


By Blaine F. Aikin

If only millennials had more money, they would be at the top of every investment adviser's list of target markets. Today, millennials (born from 1982 to 2000 and numbering 83 million in the U.S.) comprise one-quarter of the U.S. population and now outnumber baby boomers (born from 1946 to 1964). The problem is that millennials control only about 3% of household investible wealth. Over the next decade, their share is expected to more than triple, but it still will be dwarfed by the assets of baby boomers and Gen Xers. While advisers who focus on the noninstitutional wealth market may wonder whether it's worth it to divert attention to millennials now, retirement-focused advisers have ample reason to devote immediate time and attention to the segment. For those with a mix of wealth and retirement clients, nurturing a pipeline of millennials through the retirement channel in preparation for their ultimate ascendancy to wealth dominance... Read full post

Nov 7, 2018, 3:17 PM EST

Are 401(k) advisers operating like Amazon?


By Aaron Pottichen

Most retirement plan advisers don't have the competitive advantage that they think they do. While the competitive advantage of those who specialize in retirement plans versus those who do one-off plans has gotten wider, the gap among specialists seems to have gotten slimmer. It used to be that operating as a fiduciary or using a third-party platform to review the funds was a competitive advantage. Now, virtually all specialist advisers can operate as fiduciaries. And many of the aggregators are creating their own investment review process or partnering with large established providers in this space. The list of solutions that many of the aggregators and other players can provide are all starting to mirror each other. Certainly, there are differences in the delivery, expense and execution of each of these, but it's safe to say that we're getting closer to parity in the area of the solutions each has to offer. I believe this is all... Read full post

Nov 7, 2018, 1:02 PM EST

Following the money is getting harder for 401(k) plan advisers and sponsors


By Fred Barstein

It's interesting that transparency and the seemingly unquenchable desire for lower fees among 401(k) and 403(b) plan sponsors have driven some providers to find new ways to fund their services. But the consequences of these actions could fuel consolidation across the board and set up a tug of war between record keepers and advisers..In case you have not heard, Empower Retirement has made a bold play to fund its new small-market product, Empower Select, by eliciting significant payments from about 12 defined-contribution-investment-only partners, or DCIOs, which makes its product and the funds available appear very inexpensive using clean shares. You might ask, "What's the harm? Plan sponsors get what they want — lower fees — and advisers get what they want – clean shares."And there may not be any harm but, as with any action, there are consequences.DCIOs are getting hit up from multiple fronts. Some record keepers,... Read full post

Nov 2, 2018, 3:16 PM EST

How to tell good brokers from bad ones


By Nir Kaissar

Don't be so quick to believe the dirt you hear about brokers.That's the inescapable takeaway from research reported by Bloomberg News last week showing that false accusations of broker misconduct are disturbingly common.Dynamic Securities Analytics, a securities litigation consulting firm, reviewed 82 arbitrated disputes between brokerage firms and their former brokers that took place between 2016 and the first quarter of this year. In roughly half of those cases, arbitrators concluded that firms had defamed brokers when reporting the reasons for their dismissals.Leaving aside the irreparable damage to the reputations of falsely accused brokers — which is considerable — Dynamic's research raises serious doubts about the reliability of brokers' public employment records. Brokerage firms must disclose brokers' comings and goings and any wrongdoing they commit along the way. That information is meant to allow investors to... Read full post

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