A working group of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners couldn't decide during a recent conference call whether to approve a proposal to allow the use of data from indexes less than 10 years old to illustrate the likely performance of annuities. The working group decided to take up the matter again in two weeks.
In his farewell speech, legendary financial advisor Harold Evensky, an early advocate of research-based financial planning, said it is time to take a fresh look at annuities because their costs have come down so much.
He also told the audience that they should expect lower portfolio returns in the future.
Acquisitions of registered investment advisor firms for the first nine months of this year totaled 137, up from 127 a year earlier, according to an Echelon Partners report. There were 43 deals in the third quarter, down from 48 in Q2 but the most for a Q3 in five years, the report said.
Advisors have numerous networks for communicating digitally with clients, improving access but raising compliance issues. Technology most firms employ to track and store electronic communication is outdated, says Marty Colburn, former executive vice president and chief technology officer at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
The growth of an independent advisory firm eventually forces owners to decide whether they want to remain a manager or work as a full-time advisor and move someone else to the helm, consultant Angie Herbers writes. Being a leader requires asking questions and influencing employees to perform at the highest level, she notes.
Doubling of the estate tax exemption to $10 million and other changes brought by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act warrant revisiting of estate plans. Financial advisors should familiarize themselves with the tax changes, talk to clients and adjust estate plans as needed, says Mark Parthemer of Bessemer Trust.
Investors are finding it hard to save for a child's college education, with 38% making no progress and only 15% reaching their goal, according to a survey by Gallup and Wells Fargo. Meanwhile, 71% of respondents have completed a goal of saving for a home, but only 3% of respondents have saved enough for a comfortable retirement.
Half of financial-services professionals who supervise compliance are concerned about communication platforms such as social media, instant messaging and text messaging, a survey from Smarsh finds. Forty-eight percent of respondents say their firm does not have an archiving-supervision system.
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