FINRA seeking input on membership application changes | IRS issues 2nd notice about refund scam | Report: Most cyberattackers in Q4 sought financial benefits
February 16, 2018
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FINRA seeking input on membership application changes
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's proposed amendments to its Membership Application Program are open for comments until April 9. FINRA has proposed allowing the denial of a new membership application "if the applicant or its associated persons are subject to pending arbitration claims."
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (2/14) 
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Policy Watch
IRS issues 2nd notice about refund scam
The number of taxpayers potentially affected by a scam targeting refunds has grown, according to the IRS. The agency has issued a second warning about the scam, which appears to rely on data stolen from tax preparers' offices.
CBS News (2/15) 
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Building Your Business
Report: Most cyberattackers in Q4 sought financial benefits
Seventy-three percent of cybercriminals launched attacks this past quarter because of financial motivation, a Positive Technologies report states. Malware was the leading form of attack.
eWeek (2/14) 
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The one thing stopping you from making better decisions
A simple mindfulness practice might be the key to strengthening your decision-making skills. In this blog post, learn the neuroscience behind why you make the choices you make and how to sharpen your awareness to improve relationships and to build team trust.
AICPA Insights (2/16) 
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Financial Products
Expert: Even sophisticated clients may not understand annuities
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. "Financial advisors 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.
Financial Advisor online (2/15) 
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Retirement Focus
Social media threatens millennials' good saving habits
Social media threatens millennials' good saving habits
(Pixabay)
While research points to good saving habits among millennials, a survey by Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America shows 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 says.
Financial Advisor online (2/14) 
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Study explores interest rates' impact on retirement savings
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 people generally save less in a persistently low-rate environment, and workers claim Social Security later but draw down their 401(k) accounts sooner.
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (2/14) 
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Surveys vary on healthiest age for retirement
Recent studies that seek to define the ideal retirement age have come to different conclusions, with one finding that people who took early retirement were less likely to die in the subsequent few years, while another suggested that early retirement might increase the mortality rate for men. Physicians note that working longer can bring health benefits, including mental stimulation and social interaction.
Next Avenue (2/15) 
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FSI Member News & Events
New business intelligence tool -- FSI member discount
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SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of President's Day, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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About FSI
FSI was formed in January 2004 as an advocacy and membership organization for independent broker-dealers and independent financial advisors. We provide insight, information, influence, and involvement--all in support of our mission to provide visibility, credibility, and an improved regulatory environment for the independent channel. Learn more at financialservices.org
 
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