Robert Cook, CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, said in a letter accompanying FINRA's exam-priority list that the regulator will start publishing a report summarizing results of broker-dealer exams. Compliance experts applauded the move, saying it will improve the transparency of examination.
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A decade after credit rating agencies' optimistic evaluation of bonds helped bring about the financial crisis, conflicts of interest still compromise the credibility of agencies, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission report. Some agencies still don't have internal controls strong enough to prevent sales and marketing from influencing analysis, the report says.
Financial advisors should use blog posts on their website to answer questions from clients and to demonstrate expertise. "The most popular content for driving consumer leads is deep niche expertise content in whatever your niche is," said Michael Kitces of Pinnacle Advisory Group.
Two leading traders dispute bond guru Bill Gross' assessment that a bear market in bonds will ensue if the yield on 10-year US Treasury notes hits 2.6%. BK Asset Management's Boris Schlossberg and Piper Jaffray's Craig Johnson set the crucial figure higher, at 2.75% or 3%.
The full retirement age for Social Security rises to 67 from 66 for those born in 1960 or later, but that's not all that's changing. For instance, the larger monthly payout for delaying collection past the full retirement age is not as big as it once was.
Roughly $50 billion of the $7.3 trillion in individual retirement accounts is invested in unconventional assets such as private equity and hedge funds, the Government Accountability Office reports. The IRS should clarify guidance on how IRA custodians value unconventional assets, the report says.
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