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Learning how to handle stressed clients

October 5, 2014

In her first 10 weeks in the financial advice profession, Amanda Moore learned that advisers deal with clients at tense moments in their lives. Ms. Moore, 23, a resident in financial planning at Cornerstone Wealth Advisors in Edina, Minn., is...

Supreme Court to consider workers' rights to sue 401(k) plans

October 3, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider giving 401(k) participants more power to sue their plans over investments that impose excessive fees, accepting an appeal tied to a wave of suits against employers. The appeal, filed by Edison International...

Firms challenged to create innovative retirement income products

October 2, 2014

As legions of boomers leave the workplace, distributors and insurers are grappling with the best way to manage these clients' income streams in retirement. This conundrum was the focal point of a panel discussion at the Insured Retirement Institute's...

Social Security cost-of-living adjustments projected to increase slightly in 2015

October 1, 2014

Social Security benefits are likely to increase by 1.7% in 2015, slightly more than this year's 1.5% increase but still well below average increases over the past few decades, according to an unofficial projection by the Senior Citizens League....

The dangerous downside of the stronger dollar

September 30, 2014

A stronger U.S. dollar is threatening to knock the markets out of balance. This is scarier and more serious than the 'taper tantrum.' The downside of strength A commodity ETF that strikes all the right notes, and navigates the punishing tax...

Pimco fortifies to take on the old boss

September 29, 2014

Gross and Ivascyn square off in an unconstrained bond fund battle. The Pimco saga gets more interesting by the day. Taking on the old boss Pimco's parent stock price drop equates to $400 billion in fund outflows, according to Morgan Stanley....

Dispatch from the retirement front

September 29, 2014

My girlfriends whisper, “How are things going?” I think they half expect me to rant about 24/7 togetherness with my recently retired husband. I hate to disappoint them, but life is grand! My husband, Mike, retired after 20 years as a federal...

Why financial advisers still hate reverse mortgages

September 29, 2014

A reverse mortgage is a little like a car airbag. It's nice to know it's there. But if it ever has to be used, the driver's already in trouble. New regulations are supposed to improve the unsavory reputation of reverse mortgages, which are loans...

Strategies arise to take advantage of new IRS after-tax rollover

September 24, 2014

Advisers are weighing strategies in light of the IRS' recent announcement on its treatment of after-tax money in 401(k) plans, but those opportunities might be hard to come by at the employer level. Last week, the Internal Revenue Service released...

Do you speak Social Security?

September 22, 2014

Only a minority of financial advisers are well-versed in Social Security rules and comfortable recommending specific claiming strategies to clients, according to a recent report on this increasingly important facet of retirement planning. “Advisers...

Managed accounts emerging on the 401(k) scene for plan sponsors

September 21, 2014

Managed accounts are emerging on the 401(k) scene for plan sponsors, but not everyone believes these funds are a panacea for employees. The Government Accountability Office released a report this summer that pointed out a variety of areas for...

Lessons learned from 401(k) plan fee fiascos

September 21, 2014

With 401(k) plans becoming America's primary retirement savings vehicle, the role of plan fiduciaries is increasingly important. But there can be many challenges and pitfalls along the way. One of a plan fiduciary's key responsibilities is to...

3 tips for tomorrow's retirement plan adviser

September 21, 2014

25 years ago, the main focus for retirement plan advisers was picking funds for a 401(k) in-vestment menu. While that seems increasingly anachronistic, one of the original selling points of the 401(k) was that it offered a broad range of choice...

What Scotland's 'no' vote means for markets

September 19, 2014

The Scots stick with England and the markets are breathing a sigh of relief. Voting 'no' was the less-risky choice Alibaba IPO prices at $68, but the real test will be whether retail investors have even been paying attention to the record-setting...

Jay Wintrob resigns as CEO of AIG Life and Retirement

September 18, 2014

After failing to ascend to the top of American International Group Inc., Jay Wintrob is stepping down as chief executive of AIG Life and Retirement. Among his various responsibilities, Mr. Wintrob supervised Erica McGinnis, who a year ago become...

IRS shifts course with new rollover distribution rule

September 18, 2014

The Internal Revenue Service today provided guidance on the treatment of after-tax money inside a retirement plan, permitting workers to roll over those dollars tax-free into different destinations. This morning, the IRS released Notice 2014-54,...

Liquid alts are a threat to hedge funds as we've known them

September 18, 2014

Despite chatter to the contrary, it is way too early to start forecasting the extinction of the $2.8 trillion hedge fund industry. Those ridiculous fees, however, could be headed for the endangered species list. It is difficult to feel sorry...

Social Security resumes mailing statements

September 17, 2014

The Social Security Administration announced Tuesday that it will resume mailing estimated benefit statements to most workers every five years, while encouraging all workers to create personalized Social Security accounts online that will allow...

Romney-sized IRAs scrutinized as government studies taxes

September 17, 2014

About 9,000 U.S. taxpayers have each accumulated at least $5 million in individual retirement accounts, said the Government Accountability Office, raising questions about some investors' tax-advantaged returns. The preliminary report attaches...

Student loans imperil parents' retirement

September 16, 2014

As student loan balances continue to rise, advisers have a warning for clients who are inclined to help by cosigning or taking out a loan on the behalf of a child: When you borrow, you imperil your retirement. Take it from Larry Rosenthal, president...

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