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FinTech—Origins and Prognosis

Greater Disruption and Change Awaits the Financial Services Industry FinTech, or financial technology, has disrupted the financing industry. The FinTech revolution has not only changed the financial services industry, but it has also changed specific sectors, including: retail banking, lending and financing, payments and transfers, wealth and asset management, markets and exchanges, insurance, and blockchai ...

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EBITDA and Credit Stretching

Earnings season will get underway next week.  Banks should live up to their reputation as being boring albeit with pretty good results.  Loan growth looks as though it will be modest, but net interest margins should increase following the March and June rate hikes and the accompanying move higher in the London Interbank Offered Rate.  Jeff Davis, CFA, managing director of Mercer Capital’s Financial Institut ...

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Surrender a Universal Life Insurance Policy

What to do With an Underperforming Life Insurance Policy Several options exist for handling a universal life insurance policy that is no longer serving a client's needs.  In this real-world example, four experts offer advice on what they would do with such a policy, with some of them recommending that the policy be surrendered. To read the full article in WealthManagement, click: Surrender a Universal Life ...

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What’s Your Fraud IQ?

How well do you understand the foundational principles of an effective fraud risk management program?  Take this quiz and find out. To read the full article in Journal of Accountancy, click: What’s Your Fraud IQ? ...

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Valuing Contingent or Disputed Assets and Liabilities in Solvency Opinions

Part I of II This is a two-part article. A variety of methods may be appropriate, depending on the context, to value contingent or disputed assets or claims in solvency opinions. These include probability discount, hindsight, and traditional valuation of future earnings. Other possibilities are the cost of insurance or Monte Carlo simulation. The authors discuss the cases and the uses and limitations of the ...

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CPE

That Lands New Clients We have a large body of knowledge that teaches us how to do the work, but few resources that teach us how to get the work. And even as we acquire the technical skills that enable us to perform better valuations, we need to position ourselves with buyers of our valuation services so that we can land new clients and apply those skills. How (and where) do we learn that? In this article, ...

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Is an Initial Coin Offering a New Way to Raise Money?

What to do when an IPO requires too much legal work and is subject to regulation and finding a venture capital partner takes too long and is full of unknowns?  Mint your own money, of course.  In this case, however, companies are minting digital coins rather than churning out physical objects. To read the full article in Mercer Capital's Financial Reporting Blog, click: Is an Initial Coin Offering a New Way ...

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How to Achieve Social Media Success in 15 Minutes or Less

Social media does not have to be time-consuming.  Increase the effectiveness of your firm's social media outreach by connecting with the right people, posting different content on different social networks, and using an appropriate profile image. To read the full article in InvestmentNews, click: How to Achieve Social Media Success in 15 Minutes or Less. ...

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5 Tips to Help Identify Fake Financial News

A new survey reveals fake financial news is affecting Americans' ability to make retirement, investment and health care decisions.  Even worse, Americans feel that fake news will be more prevalent in the future.  The AICPA National CPA Financial Literacy Commission has tips to help keep Americans from falling into the fake news trap. To read the full article in AICPA Insights, click: 5 Tips to Help Identify ...

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What the Courts are Saying

About the Use of Monte Carlo Simulation A number of our colleagues have released updated valuation and damages guidebooks. Despite these newer versions, none of these guidebooks discuss the use of statistics, modeling of time series, ARIMA, or Monte Carlo simulation. In this article, the author describes how the use of Monte Carlo simulation is gaining acceptance. ...

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Relevant Market Trends Influencing the Fair Value of Private Equity and Venture Capital Portfolio Investments

In our most recent issue of Portfolio Valuation: Private Equity and Venture Capital Marks and Trends, we provide a brief digest and commentary of some of the most relevant market trends influencing the fair value of private equity and venture capital portfolio investments.  In this blog, there are key highlights covered in our Second Quarter 2017 newsletter. To read the full article in Mercer Capital's Fina ...

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Some of the Biggest Estate-Planning Mistakes People Make

Estate Planning Missteps Create a Burden for Beneficiaries Mistakes such as failing to create an inventory of assets, having too many accounts or not including a see-through provision in a trust can complicate matters for beneficiaries who are left behind after a client dies.  Proactive planning can help simplify the situation for a client's loved ones. To read the full article in Kiplinger, click: Some of ...

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Accomplishing Estate Planning Goals through the Use of Partnership Income Tax Rules

Try this Tactic to Minimize Generation-Skipping Taxes Generation-skipping taxes and other issues can complicate the process of transferring wealth from one generation to another.  William Kriesel, CPA, PFS, explains how giving relatives a partnership interest in a family business can overcome some of these challenges. To read the full article in The CPA Journal, click: Accomplishing Estate Planning Goals th ...

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Use These Homegrown Tools to Figure out if You Could Retire Early

How to Retire in Your 30s or 40s The FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement encourages people to save as much as half of their income in their early years so they can retire sooner and focus on other pursuits as they live off their investment portfolio.  Tom Anderson provides several retirement calculators and tools geared to the FIRE movement. To read the full article in CNBC, click: Use Thes ...

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U.S. Small Business Borrowing Drops to Six Month Low

Small Business Borrowing Falls to Lowest Point Since October Small business borrowing fell in April to its lowest point since October and was down five percent from April 2016, according to the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index.  The drop is seen as an indicator of potentially slowing economic growth. To read the full article in Reuters, click: U.S. Small Business Borrowing Drops to Six Mo ...

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Why Financial Planning Makes Sense for CPAs

How Personal Financial Planning Complements CPA Practices Adding personal financial planning services can help CPA firms build stronger bonds with clients and open up opportunities for referrals, writes Stuart Kessler, CPA, PFS.  He shares several techniques that can help your PFP practice, beginning with helping clients feel relaxed and comfortable during initial meetings.  CPAs who are interested in addin ...

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