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The Return Of IAR Ethics CE Day And The State Of The (Nerd’s Eye View) Blog

After several turbulent years in both markets and workforces, 2024 appears to be the ‘most normal’ year of late, with strong market performance, cooling (or at least no longer rising!?) interest rates, and relatively little new tax legislation (yet).

Yet the need for advisor education – and the regulatory requirements to get it (in the form of Continuing Education obligations) – never ends, with the latest focus for most financial advisors being on the ongoing expansion of NASAA’s 2020 Model Rule that implemented the first Investment Advisor Representative (IAR) requirements to get 12 hours of Continuing Education (CE), including 6 hours of Products & Practices and 6 hours of Ethics & Personal Responsibility, in order to maintain their IAR registration. This new model rule is enacted on a state-by-state basis and has currently been picked up by 18 statesthough, because it applies not only to firms located within those states but also to any IAR who has more than the de minimis 5 clients in any 1 of these states, in reality, the new IAR CE obligation is quite far-reaching (especially with California and Florida IAR CE requirements taking effect this year!).

Given the continuing growth of advicers who fall under these new IAR CE Requirements, the Kitces platform is not only continuing to offer IAR CE (along with all of its other CE types) through its Nerd’s Eye View blog articles, but, starting this year, has also expanded IAR CE eligibility to our webinars as well. And to meet the growing demand for the required “Ethics & Professional Responsibility” content in particular, we’re also excited to announce the return of our IAR Ethics CE on August 29, 2024! Attending IAR Ethics CE Day allows advicers to fulfill all 6 hours of their required IAR Ethics & Personal Responsibility CE obligations in just 1 day, preventing an end-of-year CE crunch and providing high-quality education from top experts in the field of ethics and compliance (while also satisfying their CFP Ethics and IWI Ethics requirements, too!).

In addition to IAR Ethics CE Day, the ongoing growth of our Kitces Education team has allowed us to offer more frequent live CE webinars (now running the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month at 3:00 PM EST), and next month, we’ll be rolling out our newest Kitces Course, a master class taught by our own Jeff Levine and Michael Kitces on “Optimizing Tax-Efficient Roth Conversion Strategies And Implementation“, which will let advisors practice the skill of determining the ‘right’ amount to Roth convert, identify which clients should do Roth conversions and when, and also explore ways to explain the strategic components of Roth conversions to clients (who may otherwise resist the upfront tax liability, notwithstanding the long-term tax benefit!). Additionally, the upcoming Kitces Value Summit, coming December 12, 2024, will tackle how real advisors provide and communicate their ongoing value to their clients.

Along with the expanded CE offerings, we’ve also been reinvesting heavily into making the Kitces platform easier to use. Our major focus this year has been on supporting the growing number of multi-advisor firms buying Group and Enterprise subscriptionsand then needing to manage all of their Kitces Group members! Going forward, our new Group and Enterprise dashboards will make it far easier for firms administering their Kitces membership to add and remove individual advisors and to enroll their advisors into IAR CE (as more states add the requirement) with just a few clicks of a button! (And yes, in the coming year, we will be looking at a broader overhaul and re-design of the entire Kitces Members Section for all advicers to make it easier to navigate – we’ve heard your feedback!😊)

Of course, CE is not the only part of the advisory landscape that’s changed. Our newly released Kitces Research on Advisor Marketing shows that fewer advisors are reporting client referrals as a methodology to attract new prospects (and the growthiest firms are relying on referrals the least!), but that there is no one dominant marketing tactic taking its place. Instead, the firms that are the most successful at marketing don’t appear to be engaging in materially different tactics than the rest; they simply have more clarity of the ideal client they’re pursuing, and how to communicate with them, such that they’re executing the same marketing tactics but getting much better results (which, in turn, leads them to invest time and dollars into their marketing efforts and further compound their growth lead!).

In the meantime, if you (or anyone else you know) wants to join our Team of Nerds, stay tuned for more openings in 2024, including the Managing Editor role (available now!), an Operations Coordinator (coming soon!), and other roles. We’ll be listing these roles as they become available on our Kitces Career Opportunities page, or you can sign up for our separate Career Opportunities mailing list (via that Opportunities page) to be notified when new positions open up! And for those who don’t want to join the team full-time but would simply like to ‘Nerd Out’ with us or a bit and share what they do or know with their fellow advicers, remember to check out our “How To Contribute” page to see how you can engage with the Kitces platform as a guest writer, presenter, or podcast guest!

Ultimately, though, the focus remains the same as it always has been – on our mission to “Make Financial Advicers Better, And More Successful” – through our 4 strategic pillars of creating Navigational resources, insightful Education, original Research, and skills Development for financial advicers across the spectrum of experience and firm sizes (and yes… or organizational strategy does spell N-E-R-D😊). We look forward to continuing the journey with you through the rest of 2024!

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