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529s a hot topic in Washingon

October 11, 2004

WASHINGTON - Regulators investigating Section 529 plans for unsuitable sales, and one of the financial services industry's severest critics, agree with brokers' contention that they are put between a rock and a hard place with sales of the popular...

Senator says it's 'a no-brainer' to remove the states from the plans

October 11, 2004

NEW YORK - The lame-duck Republican who heads a Senate panel scrutinizing Section 529 plans wants the states out of the college savings plan business. Citing what he described as excessively high and unnecessary fees charged by the states for...

IRS decision may boost sidecar IRAs

August 30, 2004

CHICAGO - The deemed IRA, a little-used option that allows employees to link an individual retirement account to their 401(k) plan, just may get a boost thanks to some rule tweaking by the Internal Revenue Service. In its weekly bulletin last...

Proposed restrictions for self-employed could affect advisers

July 19, 2004

WASHINGTON - California may start requiring businesses to report payments to independent contractors and withhold 2% of the fees paid to them. Such a move, designed to stem cheating on taxes, would likely be applied to independent financial...

Washington to nip LILAC in the bud?

July 19, 2004

WASHINGTON - Congress and the Internal Revenue Service may be poised to crack down on the lucrative and controversial policies known as investor-owned life insurance, according to experts on charity. Congressional concerns are being fueled by...

Dividends counting for more in investment equation

June 21, 2004

NEW YORK - Renewed interest is being shown in dividend-paying investments, according to money managers at Thornburg Investment Management Inc. in Santa Fe, N.M. Much of that interest is the result of last year's dividend tax cut, said Brian...

Explosive growth seen for individual 401(k)s

June 21, 2004

DETROIT - Thanks to tax law changes that were introduced two years ago, the individual 401(k) market is starting to emerge as an explosive opportunity for financial advisers. Assets in individual 401(k) plans are expected to double to $3 billion...

H.D. Vest beginning to roll up its sleeves

April 12, 2004

The largest provider of financial services delivered through tax professionals plans to add as many as 2,000 advisers to its ranks by yearend. H.D. Vest Financial Services plans to increase its rep force by 33% to 8,000 in the next nine months....

Finding billions in unlikely places

April 5, 2004

Dimensional Fund Advisors Inc. is quietly finding adviser assets in multibillion-dollar chunks by looking in an unlikely place: the world of certified public accountants. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based investment company added $1.8 billion year-to-date...

Kerry's tax plan called double-edged sword

April 5, 2004

The corporate-tax plan proposed by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., may be a double-edged sword for the financial services industry and financial advisers. The leading Democratic presidential nominee's proposal to end tax deferrals for much overseas...

529s place some reps in a quandary

April 5, 2004

As NASD investigates six major brokerage firms for possibly exposing investors to unnecessary taxes by selling them out-of-state Section 529 plans, the Financial Planning Association has raised concerns that the inquiry could place some of its...

IRS lets early withdrawers change their amounts

March 29, 2004

Giving investors one penalty-free chance to switch the method used to calculate periodic payments from deferred annuities will help investors who have already begun withdrawing money from their accounts, financial planners say. But they add...

Calif. advisers salivate over muni offering

March 22, 2004

California's financial advisers may prove to be just the allies Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger needs to help bring his state out of its budget crisis. Although financial advisers in neighboring states are shaking their heads, many in the nation's...

Schwab revamps its annuity effort

March 22, 2004

Seeking to energize its lagging variable annuity business, Charles Schwab Corp. in San Francisco is launching a service for its independent financial advisers that helps them recommend annuities even if they're not licensed to sell them. Through...

Time ripe to leverage capital gains tax cut?

March 15, 2004

Financial advisers say they feel great urgency to get clients to take advantage of the new capital gains tax rate, especially with budget deficits widening and Sen. John F. Kerry ready to seal up the Democratic presidential nomination. The confusion...

Fidelity plans to rebate tax overage

March 8, 2004

Fidelity Investments plans, after all, to cover the additional tax burden of customers who get squeezed by a new rule that blindsided them. This means that customers who receive payments in lieu of dividends when the Boston-based financial giant...

It's second time around for Block adviser effort

March 8, 2004

The tax preparer for the masses is revamping its approach to the financial advice business. For years, H&R Block Inc. has been trying, without success, to transform itself into a financial advisory powerhouse by turning its tax preparers into...

Industry challenges disparity in tax treament

March 1, 2004

While Section 529 college savings plans continue to be hot sellers, industry leaders view the disparity in state tax treatment as a huge obstacle to future adviser-driven and direct sales. "While the growth [of the industry] has been pretty...

Unwelcome dividend: Filing woes

March 1, 2004

Financial advisers who prepare, or even review, their clients' tax filings can count on working overtime this tax season. Last year's $350 billion tax cut package is causing widespread confusion over taxes on dividends from stocks and mutual...

Retirement rule change may spur lawsuits

March 1, 2004

One tax expert who follows insurance issues predicts that a recent ruling by the Department of the Treasury on 412(i) retirement plans will lead to many lawsuits against insurance companies and agents. "There are a lot of insurance companies...

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