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Voya cybersecurity blunder should serve as a wake-up call to the entire industry

October 6, 2018

By now, anyone responsible for cybersecurity at a financial advisory firm is probably tired of hearing about the subject. But the recent $1 million fine levied against Voya Financial Services should serve as a wake-up call to everyone in the...

After Ohio National decision, the fine print of annuity trails is now a must-read

October 13, 2018

It's still a fresh sting, hearing that Ohio National Financial Services Inc. plans to terminate servicing agreements and cut off trail commissions to broker-dealers that sell some of its variable annuities. Can they really do this, some B-Ds...

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...

Long-term-care insurance gets a boost, but there's more to do

September 29, 2018

Among the possible costs that must be factored into retirement planning is that of long-term care. Research shows that as Americans get older, 70% will need some form of assistance, which can range from help at home with the activities of daily...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Help clients give wisely

December 6, 2015

With the holiday season upon us, financial advisers should talk to clients about their plans for charitable giving. By helping clients devise a well-thought-out giving strategy, which includes vetting charities they intend to give money to,...

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...

A free lunch is anything but

October 25, 2015

It turns out some brokers are getting fat commissions off the investments they are plugging at those “free” lunches they offer senior citizens. You know the drill. In return for a free meal, a group of potential clients agrees to sit through...

No government shutdown — for now

October 11, 2015

So Congress, in its infinite wisdom, avoided a government shutdown with an 11th-hour spending deal at the end of last month. That's the good news. The bad news is that lawmakers once again opted for a short-term stopgap and avoided tackling...

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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