A quick review of what’s on the Supreme Court’s docket will show the “as yet to be calendared” case of Hughes v. Northwestern University. This case could impact an advisor’s duty of prudence and is worth watching for a variety of reasons.
If you are facing a blank screen and blinking cursor for your next client newsletter, we have a solid suggestion for you: respond to someone else’s content. It’s a practice well accepted in academia for generations, and its making its way through social media too.
Advisors may be compiling year-end lists for their clients. But with advisors seeing higher than normal numbers of new clients, they may do well to follow their own advice. So what do you need to do to get yourself sorted for year end? Here are four things to include in your year-end planning.
“One Neat Trick to Increase 401(k) Enrollment!” sounds like the subject line to an email scam, and it probably is. However, the only “BS” here is Behavioral Science, and it really can help.
Average 401(k) balances are up more than 20%. What’s behind those eye-catching numbers? Why are employees investing more? The answers can inform plan sponsors’ educational programs in 2022.
Communication strategies for sponsors trying to convey their duties, plans, and needs to other groups in the office less familiar with their roles.
What are your employees reading/watching that could help you convey retirement savings and investing information? Here are three wildly different picks that may resonate with employees.
Why going paperless for providing information to employees may be hurting your enrollment. From religion to neurodivergence, money to age, the diversity of those who would benefit from printouts may make you want to reconsider the purely digital enrollment paradise you may be envisioning.
Given how well participants in 403(b) plans did over the last 18 months (in terms of savings and enrollment), Plan Sponsors may want to get ready for some common queries. Here’s a review of what we’ve seen on the Internet that may need clearing up for your participants.
The pandemic’s change to how we work had big effects on staffing. Is the biggest impact on workforce management hiring? Maybe, but there are a few new staff management practices that could be worth taking note. Here are six of them.
The effects of the pandemic meant cancelled events and virtual platforms. As advisors began planning for 2022, you might be asking, is networking still a worthy part of your marketing plan? Here are four questions to ask as you plan for 2022.
Where oh where did the workers go? The story we hear about worker shortage may show the confluence of several trends, all pointing to your clients having an easier time saving for retirement.
Employees across the board are struggling to concentrate on work, let alone their retirement plans. One method to adapt to this new environment is to learn from those who are already familiar with this landscape.
Over the last year and a half, employees’ relationships with their retirement contributions have seen some significant changes. Why is that, and how can sponsors encourage good habits to stick and help others get back on track?
Wondering if your current benefits lineup can hit a home run with your current (and future) employees? Before you add an employer-sponsored IRA to the lineup of your 401(k), FSA and HSA consider these four things.
Given all of the unpredictability, it might be tempting for advisors to follow some common myths about post-pandemic marketing. Here is a look at a few of the most common post-pandemic marketing myths we’ve seen and an eye on what’s fact versus fiction.
Book clubs popped up all over during the pandemic. Could a book club be an avenue to find new leads for your business? Here are a few thoughts about book clubs and marketing.
Quarter three of 2021 shows a trend that advisors should review with their internal compliance team including a recent win by the SEC in federal court and two administrative orders, one involving a $7.2 million disgorgement award.
Selecting new vendors may seem like a herculean task. Can you find an easier way to find a vendor that is not too soft, not too hard but just right, like Goldilocks’ bed? We think so.
Open Enrollment in remote settings got you scratching your head? Especially about the "extras" or "perks" of their benefit plans? We have thoughts.
Now that remote work is here to stay, here are a few topics sponsors may want to have with employees who spend their time out of (literal) office.
Advisors may be turning their thoughts towards maintaining their clients. While advisors and others in service industries focus on client maintenance, those in eCommerce focus on client retention. The difference between the two may provide some interesting insight into your client maintenance plans and point to where you might be able to improve.
Clients are, shall we say, tired of Zoom. How can you or other advisors on your team still produce effective client seminars? There’s no quick answer, but a few solid tips from professionals discussed below may help.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but that might be because learning new tricks keeps your dog young. Here’s why you need to stretch your gray matter to stay on top of your client acquisition game.
Moving into FY 2022, retaining employees may be the biggest hurdle your organization faces. What’s driving the employee exodus, and how do businesses retain workers and attract new talent?
Like everything else in the 21st Century, the threats posed to employees’ retirement savings are increasingly digital. Here’s what you should know.
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.
It’s worth revisiting the basics with clients now, as the urge to splurge on travel, or any other “normal” activity. But the thought of stepping out is hard to step away from. With the behavioral finance of planned splurges and the following information, you can have a productive conversation with your clients, even if they are cabin-feverish.
Advisors rejoice, because now testimonials can finally be used in their advertising. Here’s a summary of what changed, why you should do it, and how you can make the most of this new opportunity.
With the SEC and DOL potentially making new rules, don’t lose sight of new regulations from FINRA that could impact you. FINRA’s newer rules warrant caution and consultation with counsel.
Who is covered by your company’s 401(k) plan? Sometimes the breadth of a plan can include surprising groups, like interns. But even when it might not, there’s an argument to be made for providing coverage anyway.
COVID-19 drastically altered the educational landscape. As enrollment fluctuates and more online options are offered, employers should consider the merits of degree alternatives both in hiring considerations, and when it comes to benefits packages.
Sure, salary matters, but what’s your company’s healthcare coverage like? For most employees, the answer to that question is more important than how much they’re paid.
Financial advising is all about cultivating trusting relationships. By giving back to their local community, advisors can demonstrate their investment in their neighborhoods and can even drive business.
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.
Creating a short-term savings plan for something like a new couch or a vacation is a great opportunity to learn the basics that apply to long-term retirement savings.
While owning a home comes with many benefits, for young adults it often makes more sense to rent so that when the Big Bad Wolf comes over, someone else pays for repairs.
The current hot real estate market may not be a bubble, but it may feel like one to your clients. Advice for advisors on how to keep your clients on steady footing.
Content plans (aka content calendars) will help your client communications stay organized, consistent, and on-brand. Here’s what they are and why you need one.
Hiring outside the box can make your organization stronger and more appealing to a wider variety of clients. After all, advising isn’t just about asset management, it’s about trust and connecting with people first and foremost.
Tax prep is a notoriously difficult and unpopular activity, but also offers an opportunity for workers to review expenses and start gathering information to help them plan and budget. Here are five ways to use this time to budget for success.
Most people could benefit from better budgeting behaviors, but where to start? Finding a method and the tools to support it are step one; here are some resources to help employees begin their budgeting journey.
Can Corporate Social Responsibility reignite your workplace? Harnessing CSR for employee engagement can be a solution to burnout.
For advisors working from home, how can they make sure poor communication isn't holding back their career advancement and client relationships by making their achievements invisible?
Why do diversity and inclusion matter, and how do advisory firms go about creating and maintaining diverse, inclusive workspaces? It turns out that diversity policies aren’t the answer, but mentorship may be.
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.
While companies understandably want to keep business operations firing on all cylinders, it’s important to remember that employees are under unprecedented levels of stress. Expecting regular performance in 2020 (and now 2021) can contribute to burnout that will ultimately hurt business.
Winter can be hard for many people in a good year, but this winter has been especially difficult. How can plan sponsors help employees weather personal mental health related stress and move forward with confidence?
Let’s face it: people traveled for the holidays. For employers, this means that the likelihood of employees getting the coronavirus skyrockets. How can plan sponsors help prevent, and also prepare for, the inevitable?
What do investors need right now, and how can advisors continue to build relationships and communicate effectively in a way that helps clients navigate the current economic whirlpool?
It’s easy to believe that the coronavirus vaccines are going to quickly stabilize the economy, but that’s not quite true.
Like an M. Night Shyamalan movie, the last year has been filled with unexpected twists. Here’s how advisors can help explain to clients why we haven’t bounced back yet, and what signs of recovery to look for.
Missed the major changes to Annuities Rules? Catch up Quick on how these rules could be beneficial the “hopeless generation”.
Young people want to retire early but tend to underestimate cost of living expenses that make this unlikely. What factors aren't they considering (that they should be), and how do FAs help them realistically save for early retirement?
Social Security is primarily funded through payroll taxes; however, due to the significant layoffs caused by COVID-19, 10.7 million fewer workers are paying into social security, plus many others have had their hours cut. Taken together, this means that Social Security contributions have slowed down significantly.
It’s a stressful time in almost every way possible. How are employees feeling this financially, and what gaps are they looking for plan sponsors to fill?
Of the 168 countries surveyed for the 2020 Social Progress Index, America currently ranks 28th and is one of three countries (joining Brazil and Hungary) where citizens are worse off than in 2011 when data collection began. So what's contributing to this decline in quality of life?
Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs, or open MEPs) are allowed by the SECURE Act. Here’s a rundown of what a PEP is and what plan sponsors need to know about them.
The recent spread of COVID-19 within the White House and beyond quickly made headlines. What lessons can employers glean from this high-profile case study of coronavirus in professional environments?
It’s time for real change, and employees won’t settle for performative measures. However, learning what to look for comes before they can determine what’s “woke-washing” and what’s a real commitment to justice and reform.
Are jobless benefits a necessary and life-saving measure or a terrifying spectre worthy of Halloween? While many fear the possible economic impact, studies paint a sunnier portrait.
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.
Now that they’re unhindered by the constraints of physical proximity that may have formerly informed at least part of their decision making, advisors can market to a wider pool of investors and therefore be more discerning in their chosen clientele.
TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, oh my! Some advisors are turning to social media platforms that specialize in fast-paced content. However, these can pose compliance complications and advisors’ time may be better spent figuring out how to motivate their young clients to invest at all.
What makes a safe workplace, and what are employees looking for when returning to work? Having a policy is only step one: making sure procedures actually work to make the workplace safer and are strictly enforced is step two.
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.
“Pods” or small groups of families socializing and educating together during the pandemic have spiked in popularity as the school year begins. But there are some serious concerns to consider before becoming a 21st Century Pod Person; here are four of them.
They say there’s someone out there for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that you’re everyone’s someone. Here are a few signs that it might be time to move on from a client relationship.
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.
Every business is now using variations of the same coronavirus script about navigating “a new normal” in “these trying times”. How can advisors stand out from the crowd of inauthentic platitudes? It all starts with empathy.
More and more adults are becoming caregivers to aging and elderly relatives, and the number of young caregivers is increasing disproportionately. What resources can plan sponsors offer employees who are trying to plan for these emotionally and financially challenging circumstances—or may already be facing them?
The real estate market is seeing some significant changes, but not everyone can agree on what those are. Are people really leaving cities? Is Airbnb done for, or will it bounce back? Most importantly, how can sponsors help their employees find the tools and advisors they need to set themselves in the best position?
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted markets in unexpected ways, and many are struggling to understand these new trends. With the right frame of reference, plan sponsors can help employees see the emerging consumer behavioral patterns.
It can be difficult for Millennials to envision a better future (financial or otherwise) because they have never really experienced it; after being told it’ll get better time and time again, Millennials have only been disappointed, so now some may not see a point in long-term savings. But can the sometimes-hopeful-hopelessness be the key to a more secure financial future?
Is this just a game to you? For some, the answer is yes. Sports bettors have turned to the stock market, while young people are using investment apps that have the kind of gambling-adjacent features often found in video games.
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.
How much does a COVID test cost? Unfortunately, like many healthcare-related questions, there’s no simple answer. There are, however, a few steps employees can take to ensure they’re minimizing their out-of-pocket expenses and getting accurate results.
Zoom, Webex, Teams, oh my! Online meeting platforms are seeing an uptick in use due to the sheer volume of people working remotely, but not everyone can make every meeting. Here are a few tips for supplementing your meetings and presentations for all to enjoy…and for creating digital content to connect safely with clients.
Though early retirement and using retirement savings right now seem like ideas completely at odds with each other, the two courses of action are more similar than they seem; it’s that COVID has employees making tough retirement decisions across the board.
To H-1B or not to H-1B, that is the question. Hundreds of thousands of workers will be unable to enter the country thanks to the recent visa restrictions. What does that mean for workers and the economy, and how should investors react?
Is financial advising the new Netflix? While subscription models exist in the investment world, they’re not exactly common…but that may be changing.
Small business owners don't have retirement plans, could that be because they don't have succession plans?
If your client’s work day is literally never ending now that they work from home, they may want to start a mad money account.
Not everyone wants to retire. Whatever the motivation, many older investors may have been planning on a working retirement. Those older investors probably didn’t plan on a contagious pandemic that makes them feel unsafe returning to work.
Financial advisors may be masters at managing risk for their clients, but they should also know to risk manage their own business by having appropriate business insurance. While the mix of what makes up appropriate for one advisor necessarily differs from another, there is one clear and common thing among all advisors when it comes to insurance: no one could have seen 2020 coming.
Why are Millennials more reticent to enter the stock market than their predecessors? Student loans may offer some insight.
Almost half of those in the workforce have a part-time “side gig” to help pay the bills, save for retirement, or generate a little extra spending money. As the COVID-19 pandemic prompted massive layoffs and record unemployment numbers, here are a few ways gig workers can cope during this economic crisis.
It’s easy for brands to adopt the language of social reform and make commitments they have no intention of keeping. Here’s how to help your clients distinguish performative allyship from real commitments to racial justice before investing.
Financial advisors have a complex web of security issues to consider on a calm day. Has coronavirus made that more complicated? Maybe. Here are a few key issues to consider when reviewing your security plans while we continue to work from home at least part of the time.
The news comes fast and furious these days. Vaccines are launching. Jobs are coming or going. And in the middle of all of that, it can be hard to distill what is important or what’s worthy of your attention. There is good news in that mix.
Context is everything in Communications. The term “economy” is more confusing than ever. Here are a few ways to add clarity to your communications about it.
COVID-19 may have made your parent’s plans of living independently more complex. Here are four resources a Plan Sponsor can provide their employees to tackle the topic of moving a parent into their home.
Many companies that have fiscal years not tried to the calendar year, like those who start their FY in July or schools who might start their FY in August, may be entering that open enrollment period now. Here are a few tips on how to increase your presentation game to help those employees stay focused and get the information they need.
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.
Most of the attention on the CARES Act involves stimulus money given to businesses and individuals. The Act also eases important restrictions on withdrawals from employee retirement plans.
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.
Before leaping into the unknown, we recommend a thorough examination of your plan. Because we are experts in the field, we know the marketplace and know what your existing vendor is capable of offering. Through this examination, we can help you optimize the service you receive.get xpress proposal