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Bill requiring investor testing of SEC disclosures headed toward House approval

October 14, 2019

Legislation that would require the Securities and Exchange Commission to conduct investor testing of disclosures will come up for a vote later this week on the House floor, where it is likely to advance with mostly Democratic backing. The bill,...

Mixing fiduciary and nonfiduciary standards can be counterproductive

October 3, 2019

In the wake of finalizing the Regulation Best Interest regulatory package, the SEC issued a series of informational videos for investors that purport to explain the differences between brokerage and advisory services. As is true of the regulatory...

House approves bill that would end mandatory arbitration in broker, adviser contracts

September 20, 2019

Advocates for prohibiting mandatory arbitration for investment disputes say House passage of arbitration legislation Friday gives the issue momentum even though the bill faces long odds of becoming law. The House approved the Forced Arbitration...

Warren's wealth tax could create compliance challenges

September 19, 2019

Senator Elizabeth Warren's campaign promise to fund social programs by making America's wealthiest pay a small percentage of their fortune every year could create a costly and difficult compliance system for both the taxpayers and the IRS. [More:...

Trump administration wants to kill California's auto-IRA program

September 18, 2019

The Trump administration is trying to upend California's auto-IRA program, CalSavers, with the intent of halting an initiative among other states that would force employers to offer employees workplace retirement savings plans. The U.S. Department...

Senator Ron Wyden suggests annual tax on assets of rich

September 12, 2019

Senator Ron Wyden unveiled his own wealth tax on Thursday, taking a slightly different approach to targeting the same nonwage income as proposals from Democratic presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. [More:​ Richest would...

401(k) court ruling could hurt retirement savers

September 7, 2019

A recent appeals court decision allowing Charles Schwab Corp. to force its employees to arbitrate disputes about the company's 401(k) plan could prove to be a negative development for 401(k) participants and their financial security in retirement....

Time is running out on opportunity zones — but there's limited choice

September 5, 2019

Time is running out to get the biggest tax break from opportunity zones, but there's one snag for financial advisers: They don't see a lot of compelling investment options for clients. "The deals haven't worked out to be that great," said Leon...

Retirement security advocates hope to attach SECURE to budget legislation in coming weeks

September 4, 2019

Backers of a major retirement-savings bill hope it will catch a ride on legislation that must pass this fall to keep the federal government open. In May, the House approved the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act with overwhelming...

Headwinds to annuities in 401(k) plans persist

September 4, 2019

The uptake of annuities in 401(k) plans has been muted and slow. There are several reasons for this state of affairs, such as administrative and legal challenges, which have withstood the industry's push to change the status quo and many advisers'...

Independent contractor status for brokers and advisers safe in California

September 3, 2019

Brokers and advisers in California who work as independent contractors and are registered with a broker-dealer have sidestepped the fight over employment status currently playing out in the California statehouse. Assembly Bill 5, which writes...

Elizabeth Warren once wrote a personal finance book

August 30, 2019

A few years out of college, Sarah Sparkman was struggling with debt. She pored over personal finance books, but says the advice was impractical and the tone often judgmental. Then she came across Elizabeth Warren's book. First published in 2005...

Brokerage industry groups dominate campaign spending out of the gate for 2020 cycle

August 16, 2019

Brokerage and insurance groups have dominated industry political spending in the first six months of the 2020 election cycle, but all the donors are seeking to make friends on both sides of the aisle. The Investment Company Institute ($695,750),...

We've got Americans back to work. Now let's help them retire.

August 14, 2019

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has unleashed historic economic growth for millions of Americans. Now is the time for Congress to act to consolidate these economic gains by securing retirement benefits for current and future retirees. According to...

The SECURE Act could mean big changes for advisers

August 13, 2019

While it's not surprising that the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act is tangled in a political decision-making web, it's reassuring that the conversation about helping Americans save for retirement is still on...

This new tax rule could be a 'recession bomb'

August 13, 2019

A new rule imposed by the 2017 tax law could prove troublesome for businesses and their owners — as well as the broader economy — in the next recession. The tax law changed provisions around "net operating loss," a part of the tax code that...

Wealthy clients likely missed out on pass-through tax deduction

August 8, 2019

Wealthy clients of financial advisers likely missed out on the lucrative new pass-through tax deduction in the most recent tax filing season. Of the more than 14 million taxpayers who claimed the pass-through deduction this year, the vast majority...

Texas 403(b) law causes adviser concern over investor protection

August 8, 2019

A Texas law taking effect next month is causing concern among some retirement plan advisers who are worried that the legislature has weakened investor protection for public schoolteachers in the state. The law — HB 2820, sponsored by Rep....

Regulators, legislators focus on delivering restitution to harmed investors

August 7, 2019

Bipartisan agreement on giving securities regulators more power to claw back money for harmed investors seems to be emerging on Capitol Hill, but Republicans and Democrats are split on strengthening regulators' ability to levy fines on financial...

New Hampshire law aims to protect vulnerable elderly

August 7, 2019

At the request of its securities regulators, New Hampshire has enacted a law that will take effect on Sept. 8, intended to protect vulnerable adults from financial exploitation. (More: Two women arrested for defrauding elderly California woman)...

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