Tax law spurring benefit-plan changes, leading to opportunities for advisers | Creating estate plans for digital assets | Expert: Let clients know if you're already acting as fiduciary
March 9, 2018
FPA SmartBrief
A digest of news and industry updates for the financial planning community
Top Story
Tax law spurring benefit-plan changes, leading to opportunities for advisers
The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is leading some companies to expand their benefits offerings, with a Willis Towers Watson survey showing 34% of companies surveyed considering personal financial-planning services for employees. That creates opportunities for advisers in the corporate benefit planning market, experts say.
Advisor News (3/9) 
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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.
Practice Management
Creating estate plans for digital assets
In an increasingly digital world, we must make plans not only for tangible assets, but also for digital assets such as emails, social media posts and photos. All but eight states have passed the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act or similar laws, which allow a fiduciary to manage another's digital property and enable people to plan for the management of their digital assets.
FPA Practice Management Blog/Janus Henderson (3/1) 
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Expert: Let clients know if you're already acting as fiduciary
Advisers who already are acting as fiduciaries should let their clients know, says Josh Robbins of America's Best 401k. He says doing so can provide a competitive advantage, since most clients don't know that the law doesn't require advisers to work in clients' best interests.
CNBC (3/5) 
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Policy Watch
Bill would mandate that FINRA pay delinquent arbitration awards
A bill sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., would require the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to compensate investors for unpaid arbitration awards. The Compensation for Cheated Investors Act would instruct FINRA to create a pool with money from penalties imposed on members to cover unpaid arbitration awards.
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (3/6),  InvestmentNews (tiered subscription model) (3/6) 
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Be aware of reasonable compensation limits
Though the Labor Department's fiduciary rule has been delayed until July 2019, the rule for "reasonable compensation limits" on what financial advisers charge for products and services is actually already on the books, says Drinker Biddle's Fred Reish. Court challenges to the fiduciary rule won't change the fact that the "limits are here to stay," he said.
Financial Advisor online (3/7) 
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Industry Report
SEC warns of cyberrisks in financial services
Cybersecurity is a leading concern in financial services, a Securities and Exchange Commission official noted in a discussion at the 2018 FINRA Cybersecurity Conference. Panelists said companies and regulators could reduce risks by devoting sufficient resources to prevention, identifying gaps in protection and harmonizing regulatory efforts.
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (3/6) 
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New tax law has implications for college-savings plans
Advisers are looking at ways the new tax law may affect families' college-savings plans. Key among them is the fact that parents will be able to use 529 plans to pay for private elementary and high school tuition, leading one adviser to note that discussing investment time horizons with clients who hold these accounts is essential.
Financial Advisor online (3/1) 
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FPA News
Live FPA webinar on New Retirement Planning Strategies After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017
Join William Meyer, CEO at Income Solver, and William Reichenstein, Head of Research and Endowed Professor at Baylor University, to learn how the recent tax cut will impact retirement planning, creating new opportunities and risks. You will also learn tax efficient withdrawal strategies and how to apply them to Social Security and Medicare. Join this session on March 21 at 2 p.m. ET. Register now!
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Fast track your career!
Take advantage of a variety of resources FPA provides to help new financial planning practitioners develop their planning skills. Seek guidance and advice from your peers on FPA Activate, join the best and brightest minds of the next generation of financial planners at the 2018 FPA NexGen Gathering, learn more about career paths and how to excel in your career by listening to the "You're a Financial Planner, Now What" podcast series, and gain experience in real financial planning scenarios and build mentor relationships at FPA Residency. FPA is here to help you become your best you. Check out these resources today!
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