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High-Flying Army Vet Becomes CFP Board Chairman

An Army veteran and former air traffic controller who recently was still piloting his own plane to work, Richard Salmen has become the CFP Board's new chairman.  With his choice, the board has returned a working financial planner to lead the nation's largest and most powerful planning nonprofit. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: High-Flying Army Vet Becomes CFP Board Chairman. ...

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Rosier Client Confidence Drives Heavy Inflows into Stocks

Client confidence has climbed and that rosier outlook for the economy and the stock market is propelling robust flows into equities and retirement accounts, advisors say.  Allocations to stocks strengthened sharply, according to the latest Retirement Advisor Confidence Index—Financial Planning’s monthly survey of wealth managers—and helped to support further improvement in business conditions for the invest ...

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Citing “Societal Need” for Planning, Northwestern Mutual Makes M&A Play

Northwestern Mutual, the parent of No. 5 IBD Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, took a majority stake in consulting firm ClientWise, the two firms announced this week.  The partnership will give Northwestern’s advisors access to coaching and digital tools while providing ClientWise with capital. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Citing “Societal Need” for Planning, Northwestern Mut ...

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Why Aren’t Clients Using QCDs? Help Them!

Qualified charitable distributions can offer a tax-saving opportunity, and they may be more advantageous to consider under the new tax law.  QCDs, which are available only for certain clients, count toward required minimum distributions and are excluded from income. To read the full article in InvestmentNews, click: Why Aren’t Clients Using QCDs?  Help Them! ...

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RIAs Bullish on Asset Growth

After strong gains in revenue, client growth and AUM over the last six months of 2017, RIAs say they’re feeling confident about the economic outlook and plan to capitalize on recent growth, according to a survey from TD Ameritrade Institutional.  Nearly nine out of 10 RIAs surveyed netted new client assets in the past six months and almost half expect AUM to grow at an even faster rate in 2018.  They also r ...

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IBDs in Slow-Footed Race to Let Advisors Text Clients

Firms largely ban texting, even for logistical purposes, amid guidance from FINRA that all business communications must be “retained, retrievable, and supervised.”  Securities America this week became the first of the top 10 largest IBDs to announce a program allowing its advisors to text clients. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: IBDs in Slow-Footed Race to Let Advisors Text Clients. ...

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How to Achieve Eye-Popping Annual AUM Growth

Want to be an industry leader in AUM growth rate?  Start consolidating—but also be prepared for hurdles ahead.  Major acquirers and a platform provider of services for a large number of advisory firms sharply outperformed the five-year compound annual AUM growth rate of 11.7% for all RIAs, according to a new report by Cerulli Associates. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: How to Achieve E ...

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The New 20% Pass-Through Tax Deduction: An Advisor’s Guide

Help Clients Plan for the New Pass-Through Tax Deduction The new tax law includes a 20% deduction for some pass-through business income, but the specifics will vary depending on a client's circumstances.  The rules are fairly straightforward for clients with taxable income under certain thresholds: $157,500 for individuals and $315,000 for joint filers. To read the full article in ThinkAdvisor, click: The N ...

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Avoid “Dangerous” Planning Generalizations After New Tax Law

Now that the status quo of tax planning has been upended by the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, wills, trusts, and portfolios are all due for a once-over and advisors are bracing to make sense of some of the most sweeping tax changes in decades. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Avoid “Dangerous” Planning Generalizations After New Tax Law. ...

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Life Insurance Planning After Tax Reform

Tax Overhaul Directly, Indirectly Affects Life Insurance Planning The recent overhaul of U.S. tax law will affect life insurance planning directly through changes to reporting requirements and tax-basis calculations for contracts.  Indirect effects include the likelihood that many clients will no longer need life insurance to pay the federal estate tax, for which the exemption has doubled. To read the full ...

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How Advisors Can Outthink Robots

As the learning capability of machines continues to improve, advisors are increasingly finding themselves outmaneuvered by robots.  These digital advisors are particularly appealing to millennials, who now represent close to half of the U.S. online banking population.  To that end, there is a technological gap as well as a demographic vulnerability that advisors are facing, especially as they help consumers ...

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Is Your Client Ready for Retirement

Many Americans have not saved a sufficient amount to retire comfortably.  Financial advisors can help their clients determine not only when to retire, but also if they should consider working at least part time in their early years in retirement.  Here are a few questions to ask to jumpstart the retirement planning process with clients. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Is Your Client Re ...

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AARP Wants Prospective Clients to put Advisors on the Record

Financial advisors, more accustomed to fielding questions about fees or the stock market outlook from prospective clients, should get ready to also answer queries about best interest or suitability standards.  This is, if state regulators and AARP have anything to say about it. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: AARP Wants Prospective Clients to put Advisors on the Record. ...

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The Retiree’s Cost of Care Barometer

The Retiree's Cost of Care Barometer is an Excel planning tool designed to help you measure retiree health care costs and deliver funding solutions and planning advice tailored to your clients' needs.  This tool, developed by James A. Shambo, CPA/PFS (retired), will help you unveil the mystery of health care costs. To read the full article in AICPA, click: The Retiree’s Cost of Care Barometer. ...

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Managing the Unique Needs of Ultra-High-Net-Worth Clients

Illiquid assets may constitute a sizeable chunk of the assets owned by ultra-high-net-worth clients, who often have different needs than other clients in areas such as data aggregation.  In many cases, these clients are especially focused on cash flow and philanthropic issues. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Managing the Unique Needs of Ultra-High-Net-Worth Clients. ...

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Lessons to Learn from SEC Accounting and Auditing Enforcements

Since enacting the Securities Exchange Act in 1934, Congress has repeatedly expanded the arsenal of the SEC to protect investors through enforcement actions.  As a result, the SEC has steadily increased the number of enforcement actions.  The author's analysis of 1,563 accounting and auditing enforcement cases from 2008 to 2014 shows the most frequent securities law violations adjudicated by the SEC, the pe ...

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SEC Should Define “Advisor,” Says CFA Institute

With the fiduciary rule in question, a prominent industry association is calling on the SEC to issue guidance on the use of the term "advisor" when offering advice to retail investors.  The CFA Institute has drafted a letter asking the SEC to take steps–ahead of the full regulatory initiative it is contemplating–to clarify the way financial pros describe themselves and their services. To read the full artic ...

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This Time-Saving Trick Gets Advisors Fired. Don’t do it.

I have a number of elderly clients.  It’s difficult for them to come in and sign documents, and if I overnight it to them, they often come back signed in the wrong place or otherwise incorrectly filled out.  To make life easier for my clients I’ve had them sign blank forms, and then I’ll fill them in as needed.  I’ve never used those forms improperly, but I’ve heard that if my firm finds out I can be in big ...

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Sixteen Compliance Trends to Watch in the New Year

Financial advisors face a slew of new regulatory issues in 2018, and when it comes to compliance, they are “better off changing the oil regularly than waiting for the engine to blow up.”  That vivid warning comes from Todd Cipperman, founder of Cipperman Compliance Services, a consulting firm specializing in regulatory compliance.  To find out what to expect next year according to Cipperman, as well as Bao ...

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Last-Minute Revenue Recognition Implementation Tips

The implementation effort surrounding FASB’s new revenue recognition standard is nearing an end for many companies; the deadline for compliance for public companies is the beginning of 2018.  Despite the years of preparation, certain aspects of compliance, particularly the complex disclosure requirements, are being left to the final hours.  Some companies are playing catch-up, scrambling to have their discl ...

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