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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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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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