TV ads featuring familiar actors hawking alternative investments for retirement savers, including gold, have a couple of things in common: Each spot features beloved figures "gifted at speaking in a convincing manner, and they know nothing about what they are talking about," says certified financial planner Jerry Lynch. He also advises taking media warnings of a financial downturn with a large grain of salt.
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Wednesday advanced the nomination of Preston Rutledge for assistant labor secretary for the Employee Benefits Security Administration. Lee Covington, senior vice president and general counsel for the Insured Retirement Institute, said the organization is "looking forward to working with Preston to develop and put in place policies which will help to expand access to workplace retirement plans, increase retirement savings and boost the utilization of lifetime income products."
Legislation filed by Reps. Ron Kind, D-Wis., and Dave Reichert, R-Wash., aims in part to encourage employers to include annuity options in their retirement plans by clarifying the safe harbor for annuity selection. Employers would be able to depend on annuity providers' representations with regard to supervision by state regulators.
Some industry executives say they are concerned that the increasingly popular "hybrid" indexed annuities are too complex, but supporters say the products give companies a way to stand out among competitors. "If you bring out another S&P 500 indexed annuity, you have what everyone else has," said Scott Stolz of Raymond James & Associates.
Nine states are planning to introduce their own auto-IRA plans in the absence of any national initiative, but the costs at launch for participants will be rather high. One big factor is the cost of creating a network for employers to implement automatic payroll deductions.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has invited comments on a proposal to allow member firms to conduct remote inspections of branch offices in place of on-site inspections under certain circumstances. The proposal would require firms to have a clear set of procedures to determine which offices would qualify for remote inspections and includes a number of qualifying factors to help with that assessment.
Many advisors are too busy running their day-to-day business to consider their brand, writes marketing professional Pete Muckley. Muckley discusses what constitutes a brand, how to know if it needs re-appraisal and how to set about a successful rebranding process.
Many speakers at the FPA Annual Conference reminded attendees that artificial intelligence and big data are rising forces in the financial planning profession, writes Ana Trujillo Limón, associate editor of the Journal of Financial Planning and editor of the FPA Practice Management Blog. See what experts think about the importance of technology to the future of financial planning.
Feb. 5 is the enactment date for two new Financial Industry Regulatory Authority rules to help advisers protect their elderly clients from financial abuse. An amendment to an existing rule will make it compulsory to ask clients for a trusted contact who can be contacted if necessary, while the second rule will enable brokers and advisers to freeze a payment from an elderly person's account for up to 25 days if a problem is suspected.
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