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Ten Key Findings: Sexual Harassment in the Professional Workplace

This article highlights a broad, industrywide study of the impact and implications of sexual harassment across professional communities, including banking, payments, mortgages, financial advisory, accounting, health care, employee benefits and capital markets (including municipal finance and M&A advising). To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Ten Key Findings: Sexual Harassment in the P ...

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No One’s Sure Who Qualifies for this $415B Tax Deduction

Congressional Republicans created a juicy new tax break for clients when they rewrote the U.S. tax code late last year.  Three months later, hundreds of thousands of them still do not know if they qualify.  The IRS has said it will provide guidance detailing exactly who is allowed to take the so-called pass-through deduction.  With billions of dollars at stake, business groups are lobbying for the agency to ...

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Accountants Reveal What Inspires Them Every Day

Day in, and day out, how do you stay inspired?  We asked nine accountants what inspires them and what advice they would give to help others in the profession find that inspiration. To read the full article in the Journal of Accountancy, click: Accountants Reveal What Inspires Them Every Day. ...

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FINRA Helpline Aims to Aid Smaller Firms, but Concerns Arise

FINRA has launched a helpline to provide firms with direct assistance and answers to general and routine FINRA related questions, as well as direct callers to the proper regulatory staff and other departments. The effort is part of its FINRA360 organizational improvement program. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: FINRA Helpline Aims to Aid Smaller Firms, but Concerns Arise. ...

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Risk Tolerance: The Misperception that Keeps Hurting Clients

Before investing client assets, advisors are required to assess a client’s risk tolerance. If the investor takes on more risk than they can endure, they are likely to lose more money than they can stomach when the inevitable bear market comes. And even if the market recovers, there’s a risk that the investor will panic sell at the bottom of the market. To read the full article in Financial Planning, click: ...

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How to Create More Quality Family Time

The world is more hectic than ever.  Busy professionals often struggle to escape the career treadmill, and omnipresent technology keeps us working around the clock.  Dinnertimes eaten up by e-mails and weekends lost to client calls create a costly intrusion.  When free time becomes scarce, family activities frequently get moved down the to-do list. To read the full article in the Journal of Accountancy, cli ...

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Wealth Management Fares Worst in Broad Study of Sexual Harassment

When a male co-worker got too close for comfort, he drove a financial advisor to leave a regional brokerage firm where she had been working for years.  He gave other female colleagues shoulder rubs that they “did not want, nor ask for," said the advisor, who requested anonymity to share her story. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Wealth Management Fares Worst in Broad Study of Sexual Ha ...

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Five Questions to Ask Your Estate Planner After the New Tax Law

The new tax law could affect existing estate plans, so now is a good time to review documents with clients.  Clients may need guidance in five areas, including the impact of the law on state-level estate taxes. To read the full article in Next Avenue, click: Five Questions to Ask Your Estate Planner After the New Tax Law. ...

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Fee Disruption is Coming

Some of the most disruptive business models that the world has ever known have succeeded through the use of cross-subsidies—the act of giving away for free something that consumers were previously paying for. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Fee Disruption is Coming. ...

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Where are all the Grantor Trust Reimbursement Statutes?

Some planners are adding language to grantor trusts that allows trustees to pay taxes directly or to reimburse grantors.  This can dissuade grantors from turning off grantor trust status entirely, but there are certain IRS rules to consider. To read the full article in WealthManagement, click: Where are all the Grantor Trust Reimbursement Statutes? ...

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Alexa, Can You be My Financial Planner?

Alexa, can you be my financial planner?  Artificial intelligence is getting more sophisticated, but where does that leave the professionals?  I asked that question of my new device, a birthday present from my son.  The answer?  “I don’t know that.”  But for how long?  Just as other industries have been disrupted by technological advancement, so, too, will the financial industry. To read the full article in ...

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Wells Fargo Ends Fight with a Whistleblower in Fake-Accounts Scandal

Wells Fargo has put an end to a well-publicized fight with a former retail bank manager who blew the whistle on its sham-accounts scheme that ultimately affected 3.5 million Americans.  Both sides say they reached a settlement this month, though its terms are confidential.  The agreement signals a possible shift in legal strategy for Wells as it appears to be the first instance in which the bank has volunta ...

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Trump vs. Obama: Who Had Best 1st Year Stock Market Gains?

How does the current performance of U.S. stocks compare to the long-run historic average?  Since the stock market is essentially a vote by millions of investors on future cash flows of companies, growing faster than average would indicate that, at least on this dimension, Trump is delivering on his promise to “make America great again.”  (American companies, that is.) To read the full article in FinancialPl ...

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Debt Causing Financial Vulnerability for Pre-Retirees

According to a National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper, older persons today appear more likely to enter retirement in debt than in past decades.  Researchers examined older individuals’ debt patterns using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the National Financial Capability Study (NFCS).  With the HRS, they compared cohorts of people on the verge of retirement (ages 56 to 61) as wel ...

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The Value of Medicare Surtax Planning

Since 2007, the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 has required high-income Medicare enrollees to pay an Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount surcharge, or IRMAA, on their Medicare Part B premiums.  This lifts the premium from covering just 25% of costs up to as high as 80% of results, and increased Part B premiums by as much as 219% in 2017 alone. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: T ...

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Rare FINRA Disclosure Predicts Budget Shortfall in 2018

FINRA will hold off on raising fees for its member firms despite "revenue challenges," according to an unusual glimpse the regulator gave into its projected 2018 budget.  Projected revenue of $822 million for 2018 is relatively flat when compared to 2013, the last year that FINRA raised fees, the regulator says in its newly released budgetary summary.  FINRA derives about half of its total revenue from indu ...

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A New Tool to Help Slash Portfolio Management Costs

As competition in the advisor tech space tightens, discount brokerages are expanding their platform’s offerings to appeal to a wider range of advisors.  One of the more compelling new tools is automated portfolio management software that allows advisors to create recommendations digitally without the time and expense of consulting with an expert. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: A New T ...

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Four Ways to Help Rid Wealth Management of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is not primarily about attraction—it is about power.  Give more power to women, the reasoning goes, and sexual harassment gradually dies out.  Unfortunately, this logic is not borne out in the real world.  Just look at Fidelity. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Four Ways to Help Rid Wealth Management of Sexual Harassment. ...

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