With a rising tide of concern over Wall Street’s growing disequilibrium to Main Street’s economic concerns, along with a Congress that is the human incarnation of a logjam, the Supreme Court’s recent opinions on consumer finance are worth a closer look.
In 2020, the average cost of a wedding dropped by 33%, but couples still may have to choose between a traditional wedding and a traditional starter house. Advisors may want to read up on the small wedding trend to help with this large purchase.
When it comes to income, investing and saving for retirement, it isn’t only federal laws to keep an eye on. States may be creating new challenges and opportunities for investors as well. Here are a few we’ve noticed in the last year.
Capture the calm before your budgeting storm to assess and update your Plan Documents this Spring. The IRS’s guidance on how to prevent mishaps related to not updating plan documents is sound advice at any time of year. Most of their recommendations fall under good project management processes.
It may be tough to pinpoint what the Biden administration’s regulatory aims are as to employment and retirement policy because of the current COVID crisis. A look at who the White House has named for leadership posts could help employers get an idea of what regulatory changes could be coming.
How can advisors help walk their clients through a thicket of potentially globally changing financial circumstances? When it comes to circumstances that may hit client’s static budget items – like housing, transportation and taxes, advisors may be able to help clients position themselves now for potential problems later by discussing advantages, especially tax advantaged funds.
Unfortunately the surprise may be the passing of Justice Bader Ginsburg leaving the Court to start its October session with an even number of Justices. Here is a quick look at how a split court could impact ERISA decisions this Fall.
With the passing of Justice Ginsburg, there is a possibility of an even more uncertain election as there is now more volatility in the election and also less certainty that a court with only eight Justices will be able to arrive at a decision.
It may not be two tropical storms about to collide, but the news of Charles Schwabs’ earnings report out in mid-July questioning whether zero fee models can be sustained nipping at the heels of a case potentially pending before the Supreme Court on fees could have a major impact. Batten down the hatches because the winds of change could be coming.
The rate of unemployment for women in the workforce is higher than that of men, closing in on 55% of the 20.5 million jobs lost in April, Employees who relied on income from family members who are now unemployed may feel lacking in confidence just as that is most needed. Here are a few ways to raise that confidence.
There are a great number of questions about how the CARES Act may change the work processes and workflow for plan sponsors. Here, we outline some ways that might happen so that plan sponsors can modify their work to meet their employees’ needs.
The focus of this article is to consider who might need to be involved in implementing the new provisions of the CARES Act for your plan participants. As you’ll see, your workplace’s human resources, legal team, EAP, recordkeeping, information technology and facilities management teams will need to work together on this topic.
Surveys are showing that many of those seeking out financial advisors are new to working with an advisor or haven’t sought individual advice before. Given that most financial advisors are feeling a crush of work while trying to work from home, we thought it would be helpful to reiterate the top tips for working with new clients.
Does your VPN may feel like a VPoff? In these extraordinary times, there’s so much that’s frustrating that must be abided, working from home shouldn’t be one of them. We’ve collected a few tips on how to make your work from home experience easier.
While employees adjust to the new normal of social distancing, they may also be trying to adjust to the new normal of stock market volatility. Understanding how habituation works may help those employees to be savvy investors in the long run.
How Can you tune up your pitch to institutional clients without feedback? Strengthen the Emotional Intelligence of your team, know when you’re facing a stone, build opportunities for creativity in your team, and let current clients test drive your pitches.
There will be around 10,000 people turning 65 each day for the next two decades. Those employees on the cusp of retirement may have different questions about retirement than their coworkers. While the questions may be important the framework for approaching them is more crucial.
Free is almost always good. So how can you use the free marketing of media coverage in newspapers, magazines, blogs, vlogs and podcasts to your advantage without slaving over a bunch of soon to be ignored press releases?
Multiple streams of income may seem like the American Dream: dollars dancing like sugar plum fairies in your head. To a lawyer, it’s something different: nightmarish compliance scenarios like mice in the nutcracker scattering everywhere.
Dig deeper into the Millennial insult "OK Boomer"and you’ll find that the emotions behind the snark belie legitimate retirement worries of a generation. Here's how financial advisors can use what they see in OK Boomer social media posts to answer those worries with their expertise.
Employees can do more than previous generations to make sure the kids in their life can afford college, and that means Aunties and Uncles too. There could even be tax benefits for setting aside extra for the little ones in their lives.
With the coverage of the continuing climate crisis increasing, so may be the calls for caution around products that consider themselves environmentally friendly. Employees may want to be just as wary of allegedly green investment funds.
Potentially risky microloans aren’t for all investors, but they may help some investors diversify their accounts and given the potential for consolidating (and getting out from under) credit card debt, they may also help a lot of middle class would-be borrowers.
In the wake of an unexpected separation, employees may be focused on their immediate major financial needs. Retirement planning is most likely the largest, but farthest from top of mind, for most couples. Yet, Plan Sponsors may be able to help with just a few tweaks to their EAP information.
For some advisors the last five years have been like a dust storm, obliterating any boundaries of where we’d come from. And where we had planned to go? How can you get back, and stick with, your own goals?
Planning for an audit sounds like rooting for a root canal, but unlike unwanted dentistry, planning for a plan audit can significantly lessen the pain involved. Here we detail both IRS and DOL audit processes so you can be prepared.
Recent decisions and plea agreements between FINRA and financial advisor firms show that internal compliance controls are more important than ever. We’ve reviewed a few examples from the agency to give you a sense of how to avoid similar pitfalls.
For those who work as advisors to plan sponsors, understanding how their benefit software may change is crucial to maintaining a good customer service. It’s also crucial to know when that benefit software may change. So, what’s new in benefit software?
Can you name what you've built, won, earned, sold and mentored? Having your elevator pitch polished and ready may help in a chance encounter with a potential client, but brag sheet may help you be more flexible in presenting your experience to potential clients over the long term.
There’s plenty to love about IRAs. For some employees looking at an IRA may be the first step towards a larger, more robust retirement plan. For others, it may quench some fears around stock market stability which gets them started in investing.
If your company, like most relies on outside contractors, your employees scratching their heads about why the contractor’s get better benefits. Here’s a few tips on how to talk to employees about benefits.
Benefits and perks are a major consideration in weighing job offers. Nearly 80% of those surveyed would take additional benefits over an increase in salary. Read on for more on benefits that capture recruit’s attention
You don’t have to look too far to find the road to Wall Street littered with the shells of robo-investing platforms that just couldn’t make it. So if the algorithm has a case of the blues, what takes its place? A love of research-backed stories.
The advice given to many about how to pay down debt or save for a specific event, like a wedding, anniversary vacation or new house, is to create separate savings accounts. But can you have too many accounts? Is there a price to pay other than marital harmony or peace of mind?
Just like you probably don’t need the fifth set of towels in the guest bathroom, employees may be holding onto investments or savings processes that are no longer needed. So how can plan sponsors help their employees spring clean their investment plan?
While most Plan Sponsors would think that creating tools that help employees see how their small indulgences add up, and usually add up to keeping them from saving, is helpful, there is a small contingent of voices arguing against that advice.
With access to financial information getting easier thanks to new and proposed regulations from the SEC, it may be worthwhile for employees to know where to look to find the best financial information about companies and funds.
The urge to get rid of student loans is constant and distracting, and probably a little sweaty. But employees look and listen before refinancing their student loans to make sure they end up with a better bargain.
Lately, it seems like most financial news seems to question conventional wisdom as often as they apply it. So, if it’s being questioned more often, is the wisdom even conventional anymore? Now more than ever, employees may need more individualized advice.
With HSAs now a near must for many employees, clients may be asking questions about how best to offer HSAs and FSAs to their employees. Those clients may also wonder how HSAs interact with plan coverage.
With 1 in 3 Americans having less than $5000 in retirement, many will need to spend their later years catching up. What do employees need to know about IRS rules on setting aside extra savings in their fifties?
In 2018, California created new regulations that require greater diversity on corporate boards. How can advisors use these changes to increase collaboration and client contact? The key may be how boards may become more focused on company culture.
as competition on advisor fees heats up a return to the basic business school principles of price setting might help ease stress and help create a workable plan to fill your pipeline of business prospects.
How can you help an employee bridge the gap from their current self who works hard and saves for retirement instead of eating out more often and their future, older retired self who gets to play with grandchildren? One method may be simply to communicate with the future self.
It is the season to worry about a recession. Actually, many employees often worry constantly about recessions and the resulting uncertainty in their finances. Reducing worry in your employees, for whichever reason generates it, can help them continue to be productive.
Countless research reports show that clients who respond to market changes based on fear harm their retirement readiness. But fear impacts decision making more than just by adding additional transaction costs or advisor fees.
As the financial advisory industry lurches towards another dynamic year of quick pivots and increasing stress on advisor fees, the pressure on advisors could lead to chronic stress or burnout. And those two results can drastically undermine even the best compliance program.
Over the long run, those too on restrictive budgets end up bugging out and making poor money decisions. Planning for splurges can help both with your employee’s waistline and wallet. So how does it work?
Employees looking to balance work and family while also budgeting may feel hemmed in by their options. They may avoid options to save time because they think they are too expensive. But there may be some magic to luxuries after all.
Does the jargon in your communications make your clients miss the boat? Not catch what you are saying? Not smell what you are stepping in? A quick review of English slang can keep you from leaving readers out in the cold.
Many think those who work a lot make (and save) a lot. The true fact is those who compulsively work (or might be called workaholics) are terrible savers. What can employers do to ensure those who work too much also understand to save?
2018 saw a flurry of information, and countless opt-in/out messaging about the GDPR. Yet, states and other regulators have been moving improving cyber security protections all year long. Read on for more information on cyber laws you might not have encountered and how they could impact on how financial advisors practice.
Statistics show that almost half of young families have significant student loan debt. How can employers help educate their employees, especially those who may want additional degrees so they can specialize, about debt, savings and retirement planning?
Not all debt has the same impact on retirement readiness for employees. Debt has impacts on retirement readiness your employees may not realize. Below, we list a few key distinctions employees may not know when making budgeting decisions that could impact their retirement readiness.
Before you jump on the App bandwagon, you might want to consider whether developing an App for your advising business is what’s best not for you, but for your clients. Here are a few things to consider before investing in developing an App for your advising business.
Many millennials are making mistakes in home buying, yet are reporting higher levels of satisfaction with advisors. How can Advisors understand their blind spots, especially as millennials begin to move into decision-making roles at companies and organizations?
While the cult of busy has taken over workplaces as a way to show your importance or social capital, when it comes to retirement, “too busy” may mean more than trying to look important. It might hide worries in financial planning
If clients think that their taxes are increasing due to new changes in the tax laws, they may fear that they have less to contribute to retirement. So what changes impact the amounts available for retirement savings?
The discussion sparked by WeWork’s vegetarianism decree about how workplaces encourage wellness and better behavior highlights something important for how employers and plan sponsors may want to think about their own activities in encouraging saving for retirement.
Recently, the SEC’s Chairman said that he thinks the agency’s rules need “sprucing up” and he is looking at other rules, including the private placement rules, to see what could be changed. What else might be on the table for a makeover?
Mergers may be sleeping giants for those involved, but how they impact benefit plans and how the surviving company will use them may feel like a decision with a deadline. This pressure may also be present for clients facing reorganization in bankruptcy. What can a financial advisor do to be ahead of the pressure points in reorganizations?
New delivery options can provide employees with more information about the funds they are investing in through your 401(k) retirement plan. But before you turn on the fire hose of information, a quick review of what information helps engage employees in investing can help you increase your employees’ participation in your plan.
Does your database hit the mark when needing to send information to retired employees? If a fund has to be dropped, can you meet your notice requirements? How to ensure retired employees update their contact details in an information age?
Employees who respond to the market by moving or trading investments with every major market movement may be engaging in “Emotional Investing.” This kind of investing fails to prioritize the long-term goals of retirement planning. An employee’s single best tool for weathering a volatile market is time and compound interest.
Understanding that boards of directors who were formerly reluctant to spend company monies on cybersecurity may now be so cyberfatigued that their decision making may be out of alignment with the realities of employment benefits.
Some financial advisors have also helped employees understand that their goal in retirement planning is more than “beating the market.” Instead, it may involve flexible planning, capturing tax benefits, or helping employees stay the course during volatile markets.
While some may prefer a more detached approach to investing through algorithms and robo-investing, the human element is in more demand for most investors. This could be because financial advice, unlike cat food or the very best pen, requires an ongoing understanding of individuals and their specific concerns.
Widening the definition of Investment Advice, under the new Fiduciary rule, may come with new exceptions and exemptions. These exceptions and exemptions may track those already in place by SEC regulations.
A number of factors are keeping older Americans in the workforce. And many older workers may be confused by the rules regarding RMDs. Some may think that by continuing to work, the funds can stay in the account indefinitely. So what are key points to advise your clients on?
Here are a few things to consider in working with your clients and their concerns about part-time employees, including those who work for a client part-time but regularly, and those who work for a client full-time but only seasonally.