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EBSA Enforcement Data: Are Enforcement Numbers Up?

Has the agency tasked with enforcing ERISA performed on the prediction of increased enforcement action under in the Biden Administration or did it focus on new regulations instead? We compared the first year of the new administration to last year to find out.

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Everyone’s Talking About Aging, So Why Can’t Advisors?

The public is having a very heated conversation on aging and capacity, especially when it comes to holding political office. Some may even want a break from the coverage of older politicians and their foibles. But one arena that may need more discussion of longevity and aging is retirement planning.

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“Have I answered All Your Questions today?”

One aspect of active listening that advisors may want to consider involves asking confirming questions. Yet, some business experts suggest avoiding the most common of those confirming questions: “Have I answered all of your questions today?” Here’s what advisors can do to think of how to adopt this phrase in their client communications.

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Divesting Inflation Demographics: Consumer Studies May Show It’s More Than Inflation Irking Investors

Two recent studies released in January of 2024 point in opposite directions: one indicates that inflation may be slowing down quieting consumer concerns, others say inflation is still top of mind for most workers. What gives? It may be where investors live. For advisors struggling with determining how to manage inflation’s impact on their clients, digging into these studies may help.

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New Year, New Rules: Fiduciary Duty Rules and Independent Contract Rules May Put Advisors in a Pinch

Financial advisors may feel like they are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place lately and both rock and hard place may be the doing of the Department of Labor. If you thought the proposed fiduciary rule was the only problem popping up, beware the independent contractor definition changes.

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Major Overhaul of Financial Regulations Coming? Supreme Court Considers Chevron Change

Three major supreme court opinions may be coming soon that could have significant implications for financial advisors and they may not be the ones you’ve heard about. These cases may be more significant: they may reduce the ability of agency regulators to oversee, investigate, and fine financial advisors and institutions by changing a long-held rule deferring to federal agencies in their decisions.

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New Statistics on American’s Feelings About Annuities and the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule: Possibly Out of Synch

If you are searching for answers to this knowledge gap, don’t look to advisors. Results from a study released by the Harris Poll in August 2023 showed that advisors are twice as likely (80% to 40%) to include annuities as asset protection and diversification tools over EFTs. What’s the holdup?

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Profit Vultures and Compliance Culture

Among the many takeaways from the Binance charges and the Bankman-Fried trial how charisma can impact a company’s disregard for business basics, such as an accounting department in the Bankman-Fried case. Unlike cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, you can never have too much consideration of compliance in the financial industry. Company culture can be a big player in how employees put compliance into effect.

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Luxury Lapses: Quiet Luxury and Prospect Clients

As 2023 ends, it may be that luxury brands are showing a lapse in both profit as well as sway on consumers. For financial advisors who look to track luxury brands in their marketing and advertising approaches, this could be an important trend to track. And it isn’t all negative.

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The Tax Man Cometh, and He’s Bringing a Friend: Greater Hiring at the IRS Shows a Potential for More Enforcement and Audits

The IRS’s new details on how it will increase its hiring shows a potential for increased scrutiny and potential audits for 401(k) plans and investors with complex wealth basis.

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Good Luck Gen X

For a generation named for its inability to be quantified it may come as a surprise that Generation X may go down in history for having the worst numbers, at least when it comes to retirement. Generation X, those now in their 40s and 50s, account for about one-fifth of the population, a significantly smaller cohort than other generations and yet their worries are weightier than others.

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Communications Plan Series, Part 3 of 3: Down to the Nitty Gritty on Your Calendar

For many professionals, the end of the year means nailing down the details of key business plans, like your marketing and communications plans. That is why we’ve scheduled this series on how to construct and format your communications calendar to right when you may need it.

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Can’t Touch This: AI Can’t Beat the Human Touch

These days, artificial Intelligence is top of mind for almost any professional. Financial advisors are no exception. They have often had to justify how their work can’t be replaced by that of a robot. First, were robo-indexes. Then the algorithms. And now, artificial intelligence, specifically ChatGPT. But good news humans! AI makes for a terrible financial advisor. Here’s what you should know.

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Communications Plan Series, Part 2 of 3: Measuring and Monitoring Marketing Coms

Communications plans can seem overwhelming but when they are done well, they help you measure and monitor important details, increasing prospect pools and warming up your leads. Here are a few things to think about when building a communications plan for your marketing efforts.

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Advising the Already or Soon to be Retired: It’s a Confidence Game

Financial advisors deal in confidence all day long. Whether it’s measuring the value at risk of an investment portfolio or helping a client assess their risk tolerance, confidence is a huge part of what advisors do. But when it comes to clients, you may be getting punked. New research shows that one in five Americans thinks they’ll never be able to retire. What accounts for the insecurity?

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Communication Overload as a Compliance Problem.

On an individual level, communication overload can be a serious problem in terms of employee productivity and job satisfaction. On an enterprise level, communication can have serious compliance repercussions. Generic tips for using to-do lists and AI to sort your inbox don’t fully address the problem and its impact on decision-making.

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Not the Same Old, Same Old, When It Comes to Getting Older

Recent studies may challenge assumptions on retirement planning, for clients and advisors. Taken together, the studies show a compelling conclusion that using a financial planner greatly increases the chances of succeeding saving sufficiently for retirement. Read on for three takeaways.

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Communications and Content Creation Series 1: Audit and Assess for Success

If the launch of a new platform rattles your marketing department, it may be because your firm’s communications plan is based too much on responding and less on a clear executable strategy. Through a series of articles, we make it easy to streamline your communications and content creation so that you can capture more leads and have a smoother pipeline of prospective clients.

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Next up in Marketing Content: Scannability in Four Fs

Your content may be perfect, but if it isn’t organized to flow well with how readers consume information, it might as well be a smoke signal. Here’s how improving scannability can help financial advisors win more warm leads.

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Tech Dollars at Work: Emerging FinTech for Financial Advisors

If your tech budget is a tad limited, making your tech dollars work means focusing on getting the most for your money. Haphazard upgrading can lead to deficits in how your technology integrates as an enterprise. To avoid tech debt, you may want to consider these new products.

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Shake, Shake, Shake It Up: Additional Legislation and Court Cases that Could Impact Retirement Planning

All eyes may be on clarifying the Secure Act 2.0, but other legislative changes could keep advisors on their toes. Especially if the Supreme Court challenges administrative agency authority. Here’s what to consider.

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FinTech Trends and Cases That May Change Investor Behavior

In the tsunami of information and misinformation about FinTech and digital assets some information may get missed. Here are five topics worth paying attention to: 1) the SEC v. Coinbase case and defining securities to include digital assets; 2) the UCC and Blockchain; 3) open banking extensions; 4) AI for loan processing; and 5) AI for cybersecurity.

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Unready, Unknowing: New Research on High Wage Workers’ Lack of Preparedness for Retirement

The Center for Retirement Research’s new report presents quite a fascinating find: 40% of American households are either too worried or aren’t worried enough about whether they are on track for retirement. And the shocking part is, those with higher incomes may be falling into the “not worried enough category."

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Secure 2.0 Act – More Changes Coming?

The passage of the Secure 2.0 Act had major changes on many American’s retirement planning options. The process was complex, drawn out and not without its problems. Six months after it was made into law, analysts and lawmakers have noted a few key holes in the legislation.

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Time for a Referee? What Advisors Should Watch in Financial Coaching

Recently we noticed an absence of activity regarding financial coaching regulations and standards. What’s surprising about the lack of regulation on financial coaching is that the field has been growing significantly. Financial advisors may want to pay attention to this trend as their clients may benefit from coaching but due to lack of standards, coaches may be overstepping the goal line.

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Beau Adams
Executive Vice President, BCG
John Correll
Client Relations Team Leader
Kevin Bonner
Regional Retirement Sales Director
Nina Wilkinson
Client Relations Manager
Robert Terry
Retirement Plan Sales Manager


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