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March 7, 2013
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Advocating Direct Investments through Education

  Top Stories 
  • SEC calls for feedback on fiduciary plan
    The Securities and Exchange Commission has requested information from the public and the financial services industry pertaining to possible changes to fiduciary standards for brokers. The SEC is seeking information about the benefits and costs of different fiduciary mandates. "Gathering further data is the appropriate next step forward," said Ira Hammerman, general counsel of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. Reuters (3/1), AdvisorOne (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Update 
  • Lawyer cites areas to watch on DOL's fiduciary rule
    When the Labor Department reproposes its fiduciary rule, issues likely to draw scrutiny are the precise formulation of prohibited-transaction exemptions, the way the rules affect the IRA marketplace and the way rollover solicitations will be treated, says Brad Campbell, an attorney with Drinker Biddle & Reath and the former head of the Employee Benefits Security Administration. AdvisorOne (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry News 
  • 12 changing trends for financial advisers
    Several trends are emerging in financial planning that advisers should watch and position themselves to address. Some are entirely new; others represent changes in thinking in existing areas. These trends include longevity risk and compensation shifts, as well as newer factors such as crowdfunding, artificial intelligence, security and the cloud, and outsourcing. Financial-Planning.com (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sponsors should rethink retirement-plan approach, expert says
    Inertia and procrastination are among the top five problematic investor behaviors that will never change, and retirement-plan sponsors should rethink plan structures to work around them, says Greg Kasten, founder of Unified Trust. For example, Kasten says, plan sponsors should give participants a savings goal at enrollment meetings if they don't have one. Putting participants in a target-date fund is not enough, he says. AdvisorOne (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study looks at contributions by those with both IRA and 401(k)
    Workers who have both an IRA and a workplace 401(k) had an average total balance of $225,000 on Dec. 31 and contributions of about $11,000 during the year, Fidelity says. "By maximizing the long-term, tax-advantaged growth potential of both workplace savings plans and IRAs, investors can create a personalized plan to help them achieve better outcomes in retirement," Fidelity's James MacDonald says. Financial Advisor online (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Income Planning 
  • Startup offers trend-based investment choices
    A company called Motif allows investors to buy "motifs" -- groups of stocks that fit a certain theme. For example, there's a "Tablet Takeover" motif that favors stocks related to tablet computers. Motif is one of a few startups that are trying to disrupt traditional investment models. "There's room for these niche players if they can get some traction," said Gartner analyst David Schehr. The Miami Herald (free registration)/The Associated Press (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Deferred-income annuities are starting to catch on
    New York Life's deferred-income annuity product has exceeded $1 billion in sales, which points to its growing appeal, possibly because of larger annual payouts than immediate annuities. "They want a pension," Matt Grove of New York Life says about the product's buyers. Deferred-income annuities still represent a fraction of all annuity sales, but more insurers are offering them. MarketWatch/Encore blog (2/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Labor Department guidance touts nonproprietary target-date funds
    New guidance from the Labor Department recommends that plan sponsors check whether providers offer nonproprietary target-date funds. The guidance suggests that such funds "may not be right for every plan" but "offer advantages by including component funds that are managed by fund managers other than the TDF provider itself, thus diversifying participants' exposure to one investment provider." Ignites.com (subscription required) (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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