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Tax/Personal Financial Planning

Avoid Traps with a Timely Appraisal New basis-consistency requirements make defensible valuations of inherited property even more important. Informed taxpayers are aware that only the wealthiest individuals should have concerns about the federal estate and gift tax, for gifts given and decedents dying in 2018 through 2025. Thanks to the legislation known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), P.L. 115-97, the ...

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SEC Simplifies Disclosure by Public Companies, Money Managers

The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved amendments to Regulation S-K aimed at simplifying and modernizing disclosure by public companies, consultants and money managers. The amendments are required under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act of 2015. To read the full article in Pensions & Investments, click: SEC Simplifies Disclosure by Public Companies, Money Managers. ...

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Author of ‘Jesus Christ, Money Master’ Charged in $19.6M Ponzi Scheme, SEC Says

A self-styled “Money Doctor” who promoted his services on a Christian radio station penned a self-help guide to “share the benefits of putting Christ back in the center of our personal spending habits.” In pitches to clients, the ex-advisor allegedly promised guaranteed risk-free returns of five to eight percent per year. To read the full article in Financial Planning, click: Author of ‘Jesus Christ, Money ...

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Why Regulators Are Taking Aim at Robo Advisors

Riding a decade-long bull market, robo advisory firms have proved investors are willing to let complex and proprietary algorithms be at the heart of their investment advice. Assets under management at digital platforms are expected to top $1 trillion in the next few years. To read the full article in Financial Planning, click: Why Regulators Are Taking Aim at Robo Advisors. ...

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Top Democrat on Senate Panel Wants Hearing on SEC’s Reg BI

Sen. Sherrod Brown, the highest-ranking Democrat on the Senate banking committee, is calling for a hearing on the Securities and Exchange Commission's proposed Regulation Best Interest. He cited a letter from 11 former SEC economists raising concerns about the economic analysis that went into the regulation. To read the full article in Think Advisor, click: Senate Banking Panel Lawmaker Wants Reg BI Hearing ...

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Preparing for an Unexpected SEC Audit

Preparing for an audit by the Securities and Exchange Commission can be a significant undertaking for a small firm. During stressful times such as this, leaders should stay confident and set a positive example for others. To read the full article in Smart Brief, click: Preparing for an Unexpected SEC Audit. ...

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Overview of Fair Value Considerations in Business Combinations

Bargain Purchase Transactions This article summarizes the fair value measurement guidance and financial accounting considerations in business combinations—and specifically, in bargain purchase transactions. This discussion also describes the principles of acquisition accounting as they relate to fair value measurement. And, this discussion describes many of the valuation analyst considerations regarding the ...

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Overview of the But For Investment Portfolio

To Measure Trustee Breach of Fiduciary Duty Damages The but for investment portfolio is a tool that damages analysts utilize to estimate economic damages when there is an allegation of a breach of fiduciary duty with regard to the management of an investment. In its simplest form, the but for investment portfolio estimates the value of a portfolio but for the alleged breach of fiduciary duty. Case law prece ...

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With SEC Vote, More Companies Qualify for Scaled Disclosure

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday voted to change the definition of “smaller reporting company” in an effort to expand the number of companies that qualify for scaled disclosure accommodations. To read the full article in Journal of Accountancy, click: With SEC Vote, More Companies Qualify for Scaled Disclosure. ...

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SEC Accuses Advisor of $5M Ponzi Scheme

The SEC has charged an advisor and his wholly-owned RIA firm with operating a nearly $5-million Ponzi scheme that defrauded scores of investors over almost a decade, according to the regulator’s complaint filed in federal court. To read the full article in Financial Planning, click: SEC Accuses Advisor of $5M Ponzi Scheme. ...

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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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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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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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Advisor Gets Prison Time After Pleading Guilty to Bilking Client for $911K

A financial planner who admitted to defrauding his client out of nearly $1 million through a signature-forging scheme received a prison sentence of four-and-a-half years.  William P. Carlson Jr. pleaded guilty to mail fraud in the U.S. District Court in Chicago and agreed to pay restitution of $911,000 in connection with the five-year scam. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Advisor Gets ...

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Regulators Want Firms to Ramp Up Fintech Accountability

Officials at the SEC and FINRA have been talking a lot lately about how they have been ramping up their use of sophisticated technologies to root out questionable conduct among the firms they regulate.  It turns out that they are expecting advisors and brokers to do the same. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Regulators Want Firms to Ramp Up Fintech Accountability. ...

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When Your Vendor is Hacked, Doing Nothing Won’t Cut it

Even firms that believe they are too small to matter should think again.  If a cyberattack happens at the firm's outsourced CRM partner, portfolio management vendor or custodian, and clients' personal information is compromised, where is your client going to turn first to demand an explanation? To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: When Your Vendor is Hacked, Doing Nothing Won't Cut it. ...

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