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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...

Special needs planning experts crave help from generalist peers

September 16, 2017

"I have the best job in the world," says Scott Adams, a financial adviser and founder of the Special Needs Planning Center. If Mr. Adams gets such satisfaction helping special needs families plan for their financial futures, why aren't more...

Harvey and Irma — Reminders that advisory firms need solid continuity plans

September 9, 2017

According to one​ version of Murphy's law, nature always finds the hidden flaw. No doubt Hurricane Harvey uncovered the hidden flaws in the emergency plans of many companies, including financial advice firms, in the Houston and Beaumont areas...

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...

Making the most of another delay in the DOL's fiduciary rule

August 20, 2017

After seven long years of argument and comment, one would expect that the Labor Department's fiduciary rule would be a done deal, and would now be going into full effect. Alas, no. While the DOL has allowed parts of the rule to go into effect,...

Financial advice industry has a role in opioid crisis

August 5, 2017

A growing number of clients — and their families — are at risk of financial ruin. It is time for financial advisers to open their eyes to the corpse-littered wasteland that defines the national opioid crisis, and take steps to keep clients...

Understanding algorithms is key to gauging robo fiduciary status

July 22, 2017

Subtle biases in,​ subtly biased advice out — could that be a hidden problem with some robo-advice programs? And if so, can regulators identify it? As reported in the June 30 issue of InvestmentNews, a recent academic paper suggests the...

Health-insurance reform uncertainty hampers advisers' ability to counsel to clients

July 8, 2017

The failure of congressional Republicans to pass a health-insurance reform bill to replace the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act has complicated the lives of financial planners and investment advisers in many ways. The most obvious...

CFP Board proposal another signal fiduciary is the future

June 24, 2017

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. added its voice to the fiduciary debate last week. In a proposed update to its code of ethics and standards released last week, the board broadened its application of when CFP professionals...

Assessing the future of the financial advice industry

June 17, 2017

Let's look into our crystal ball for a moment to see what the future holds for the financial advice industry. A couple of coinciding projects at InvestmentNews encourage us to do so now, with the benefit of crowd-sourced knowledge from some...

Time is now to prepare clients for a stock market correction

June 10, 2017

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the old adage goes, and now is the time for advisers to be taking steps to prevent client angst or panic when the market correction comes. No one can time the next market correction, but many...

DOL fiduciary rule should be improved, not scrapped

June 3, 2017

For better or worse, the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule goes into effect on Friday. Starting that day, any broker or financial adviser offering advice on retirement savings accounts must put the clients' interests first. While we support...

DOL Fiduciary Rule: Acosta makes it clear that revisions are coming ​

May 27, 2017

We​ were​ pleased to read Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta's emphasis on sticking to the rule of law when it comes to deregulation in his Wall Street Journal op-ed last Monday. Though his decision not to further delay the June 9 initial...

Ransomware attack underscores importance of cybersecurity

May 21, 2017

Financial advisory​ firms, like all businesses, got another rude wake-up call when hackers recently launched a widespread ransomware attack known as "WannaCry." The hack was noteworthy for the speed and magnitude of its reach. In just a few...

With U.S. stocks flying high, advisers should caution clients

May 13, 2017

It has been two decades since then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan used the phrase "irrational exuberance" ​ to describe the general mood of investors during a December 1996 speech at the American Enterprise Institute. At the time,...

New tax plan is a work in progress that needs advisers' input

May 7, 2017

The pace and​ scope of action in Congress last week — including the House vote to repeal Obamacare and a House committee's approval of a Dodd-Frank replacement bill that scraps the Labor Department's fiduciary rule — might make Mr. Trump's...

Donald J. Trump's first 100 days: the highs and lows

April 30, 2017

Despite what President Donald J. Trump says, the first 100 days of an administration are important. That's when a new president makes clear their priorities, proclivities and, perhaps most importantly, their character. Mr. Trump is no exception,...

Setting a new price for financial adviser services

April 22, 2017

Price is the amount of money expected, required or given in payment for something; value is what something is worth, the level of regard in which something is held. Financial advisers should remember a key truth about their relationship with...

Advisers who are already fiduciaries should shout it from the rooftops

April 16, 2017

The concept of fiduciary duty might not yet be fully grasped by consumers, but it is starting to make inroads into mainstream discourse. Clients don't always know what it means to be a fiduciary, but they know they should ask if their adviser...

Time for an in-depth look at regulatory duplication

April 9, 2017

Robert W. Cook, president and CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., put his finger on an important issue — regulatory duplication — in a speech at the New Special Study Conference at Columbia University last month. The...

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