A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research explores the link between the interest-rate environment and people's attitudes toward saving, investing and retirement. Among their key findings, the authors state that in a low-rate environment, workers claim Social Security later but draw down their 401(k) accounts sooner.
Strategic Growth: Buy Another Firm If you've grown your firm to the point at which you're contemplating the idea of an acquisition, check out this whitepaper from Oak Street Funding®. It discusses the pros and cons RIAs may not consider, the most strategic time for a bold move, and how to know when your firm is ready.
Clients and their children can minimize college debt even if they weren't able to save significant sums in 529 plans. Encouraging children to take advanced placement courses, choose their majors carefully and plan their course loads can make a big difference.
Technological evolution, including artificial intelligence and automation, is among the forces that could affect the advisory industry in the coming years, writes Schwab's Bernie Clark. "You can play a valuable part in empowering your clients to embrace change and adapt strategically to build a prosperous future," he writes.
Eaton Vance on Washington Get the latest "Inside the Beltway" insights from The Washington Update's Andy Friedman and Jeff Bush. They'll keep you on top of issues such as tax reform, health care, the federal budget and national energy policy, as well as strategies to consider in the changing political landscape. Learn more.
State securities regulators have authority to enforce the Labor Department's fiduciary rule, and exercising that authority is "part of the normal scope of what states ought to be doing to protect their citizens," said Joseph Borg, director of the Alabama Securities Commission and president of the North American Securities Administrators Association. When Massachusetts' securities regulator filed charges against Scottrade, including a claim the broker-dealer had violated impartial-conduct standards of the fiduciary rule, "Massachusetts was certainly within its parameters," Borg said.
Caps on deductions for state and local taxes introduced in the new federal tax law could take a toll on New York residents, so Gov. Andrew Cuomo has introduced amendments to the fiscal 2019 budget to address the issue. Among other things, the amendments would create charitable funds to which taxpayers could donate to claim deductions.
Scammers are using the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's name and logo in an attempt to bilk investors, the organization warned. FINRA "does not guarantee investments, and our officers play no role in facilitating investment opportunities," noted Gerri Walsh, FINRA's senior vice president for investor education.
Research points to good saving habits among millennials, but a survey by Allianz Life found that 88% of respondents think social media creates a tendency to compare their lifestyles with others', and 57% say it has influenced them to spend money they had not planned to. "While every generation has experienced a need to 'keep up with the Joneses,' social media seems to have helped take it to a new level for millennials," Allianz's Paul Kelash said.
Retirement investors need to determine their risk tolerance, and a straightforward test of that is to have clients ask themselves how much they could stand to lose in a market downturn, experts say. However, a 2017 FinMason survey found that only 1 in 4 clients had received adviser input on how severe their losses could be in a crash.
Financial professionals should take the time to explain annuities to clients, even those who are knowledgeable about financial matters, and dispel commonly held myths about the products, said Dan Keady, chief financial planning strategist for TIAA. Advisers "are immersed in this information all the time, maybe for years, and they may forget that not all of their clients understand the nuances of financial products," he said.
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Journal in the Round: Navigating the Student Loan Landscape
In this month's Journal in the Round, Adam Minsky, J.D. discusses his article in the February issue of the Journal on managing student loans. He will be joined by college planning expert Joe Messinger, CFP®, to discuss the growing problem of massive student loan debt in the US, and the different types of loans and repayment options that financial planners can know about to help clients navigate this challenging landscape. This live event will take place on Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. ET. Register today.
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