Saturday, December 16, 2023
HomeFinancial AdvisorWeekend Reading For Financial Planners (December 16-17)

Weekend Reading For Financial Planners (December 16-17)

Enjoy the current installment of “Weekend Reading For Financial Planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the news that this week’s round of public hearings on the Department of Labor’s proposed new fiduciary rule featured fierce opposition from the brokerage and insurance industries – which, while unsurprising given those industries’ stance against the DoL’s previous fiduciary rule (which ultimately caused it to be struck down in court in 2018), nonetheless highlights the debate over what constitutes a relationship of “trust and confidence” that rises to a fiduciary standard, and whether broker-dealer representatives and insurance agents who hold out as advisors should continue to be regulated ‘just’ as product salespeople when they aren’t actually giving advice.

Also in industry news this week:

  • Most businesses that operate in the U.S., including partnerships, LLCs, and corporations, will soon be required to report specific information on their “beneficial owners” to the Treasury Department – which notably includes all state-registered RIA firms, as well as potentially many businesses owned by clients of financial advisors
  • Pontera has raised $60 million in venture capital funding, highlighting the growing advisor demand for its technology for directly managing clients’ 401(k) plan assets (while raising questions about whether its success will spawn future competition that could temper its growth expectations)

From there, we have several articles on practice management:

  • As organizations grow, employees often struggle with issues such as stretched capacity, skill gaps, and burnout, which makes it important for leaders to be attentive to the issues their employees face and to have solutions available to address those issues directly
  • Although performance reviews after a challenging year can be a difficult process, managers can help take them in a more positive direction by being clear about the company’s future (and the employee’s place within it)
  • For solo advisors, the decision of whether or not to hire an employee can be a difficult one, but hiring may be at least worth considering to ensure that clients can continue being served either in the event of an unexpected incapacitation or when they ultimately decide to retire

We also have a number of articles on retirement:

  • For people over age 70 1/2, making a Qualified Charitable Distribution from an IRA can have significant tax benefits – so much so that they’re worth the often-cumbersome process required to make the contribution itself
  • Although bonds are currently an attractive option for retirement income given today’s higher interest rates, immediate annuities can potentially provide even higher yields, making them worth considering for retirees who are likely to (at least) reach their life expectancy
  • Although many people focus on tax brackets when deciding which accounts to withdraw from in retirement, a strategy around managing the “effective marginal tax rate” can add material after-tax value to a client’s retirement savings

We wrap up with 3 final articles, all about health and wellness:

  • How the true secret to so-called “Blue Zones” with high concentrations of people who live beyond 100 years old might not be diet, climate, or lifestyle, but bad data
  • How runners can improve their training and even race times by incorporating short interludes of walking into their run
  • How the science of the way our nervous system is involved with digestion can uncover the key to treating and preventing digestive disorders

Enjoy the ‘light’ reading!

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