President Donald Trump has nominated Dino Falaschetti, a former law professor who is the chief economist for the House Financial Services Committee, to direct the Treasury Department's Office of Financial Research. Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said Falaschetti "is exactly what OFR needs to realize its vision of 'a transparent, efficient and stable financial system.' "
Nina O'Neal, a 14-year industry veteran and firm owner, discusses the challenges women face in the advisory business. She notes women are often dismissed by their male colleagues and counterparts and looks at the ways men have an "opportunity to be advocates and trusted partners for their female colleagues."
The majority of high-net-worth clients expect their future relationship with their financial advisor to be mostly or all digital, and implementing client-facing technology will "add value into an advisor's practice where robos tend to fall short," writes Tom Burmeister of Advicent Solutions. While it can't replace in-person or phone meetings, he contends "a compelling digital experience" can make it simpler to engage with clients and bolster relationships.
Many people with fixed-income portfolios are worried about how rising interest rates could affect their retirement funds, writes Christine Benz. She offers several tips for retirees in this environment, including reflecting on debt, staying mindful of equity holdings and not ignoring inflation.
Officials in Madison County, Ga., want a power company that plans to build a power plant to obtain a surety bond to cover costs associated with infrastructure improvements. The county wants to ensure its taxpayers will not be on the hook for a $4 million water line if the plant is not built.
A court case from the UK shows what can happen when a surety bond clause is poorly written, an attorney writes. Rewriting a key provision in the standard form created ambiguous language.
An Employee Retirement Income Security Act retirement plan would fail to meet the "retail customer" definition in the Securities and Exchange Commission's proposed best-interest standard, The Wagner Law Group says. Non-ERISA 403(b) plans, however, could meet the definition.
The contraction in the variable annuity market may be on the way to reversing, thanks to the consumer interest in simpler variable annuities, writes American College's Jamie Hopkins. He looks at the potential benefits of variable annuities in a retirement plan, including growth potential, downside protection and guaranteed income riders.
Dan Caplinger reviews the issues clients should consider when deciding whether to take a pension payout as an annuity or a lump-sum distribution, as well as the pros and cons of each.
A survey by Schwab Independent Branch Services of advisors with at least seven years of experience found that they were generally optimistic about the future and found their careers fulfilling, but were attracted to the idea of greater independence. Among the group, 76% said they believed limited autonomy and a lack of support had limited their success.