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March 12, 2013
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A weekly digest of news and industry updates for the financial planning community

  Top Story 
  • U.S. ranks 19th on index of retirement quality
    The cost of health care and the government's diminishing ability to support retirees resulted in a U.S. ranking of 19th on the Natixis Global Retirement Index, which measures quality of life. Norway and Switzerland were among several European nations, as well as Japan, that outranked the U.S. In contrast to many other countries, "in the U.S., we encourage workers to plan, save and invest, and promote policies that help them meet their future needs," said John Hailer of Natixis Global Asset Management. Financial Advisor online (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: Retirement investors are barely ahead of pre-crisis levels: Retirement investors' portfolios had exceeded 2007 averages by the third quarter of last year, according to data from the Investment Company Institute, and the market has climbed higher since then. When accounting for inflation, however, investors' average annualized return since the last Dow high, in 2007, is about 0.3%. MarketWatch/Encore blog (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • Commentary: SEC and CFTC should be self-funded
    Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Brooksley Born and former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William Donaldson write that recent sequester cuts highlight the importance of regulatory agencies being self-funded. The SEC and CFTC should be funded by the industry they regulate, not by the congressional appropriations process, according to Born and Donaldson, who are members of the Systemic Risk Council. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (3/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SEC to take a closer look at some mutual fund fees
    Examiners at the Securities and Exchange Commission are poised to start the first of two "sweeps" to look into how mutual fund distributors are paid by the advisory industry, says Andrew Bowden, deputy director of the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. The SEC additionally plans to look at alternative-fund risks and related issues. Bowden also says the SEC might work with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on some examinations in the future. Reuters (3/9), Financial Advisor online (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Practice Management 
  • How advisers should target Gen X and Y clients
    Advisers should build business models that attract Gen X and Gen Y clients as well as the baby boomer generation, writes Michael Kitces. Models for younger investors can include assets-under-management models, assistance on an as-needed basis and services offered through low-cost monthly retainers. Nerd's Eye View blog (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What "disruptive thinking" can do for advisers
    Financial planners should embrace "disruptive thinking" to gain more opportunities, according to Luke Williams, executive director for innovation and entrepreneurship at NYU's Stern School of Business and the keynote speaker at FPA Business Solutions 2013. To start, create a disruptive hypothesis by answering a few questions: What can I invert? What can I deny? What can I improve or innovate? Management Center blog (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Industry Report 
  • Kitces: Why asset location matters
    Where retirement savings assets should be held is becoming just as important as deliberations over what assets and in what amounts, writes Michael Kitces. He points to studies indicating that good asset location can average about 20 basis points of "free" return, and as much as 52 basis points for retirees. The benefits are now so widely recognized that low-cost variable annuities are coming to market to serve as asset location vehicles. Nerd's Eye View blog (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Affluent investors may be surprised by retirement's realities
    A Schwab survey finds that while most affluent investors have a retirement plan in place, they may be underestimating how much income they will need in retirement. Some investors realize their plans may need refining and are leaving open the possibility of working part time during retirement. AdvisorOne (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 401(k) advisers should be charging more, panelists say
    Retirement plan advisers need to raise their prices and stop competing on cost, according to a panel of executives at broker-dealer firms. The panel was part of the recent American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries' 401(k) Summit in Las Vegas. "Advisers should be charging more," said Lisa Kottler, panel member and senior vice president of retirement services at National Financial Partners Corp. "We need to elevate this to the true profession it is." InvestmentNews (free registration) (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  FPA News 
  • Financial planning needed for military service members
    In collaboration with FPA, Zeiders Enterprises is seeking financial planning experts to provide financial counseling and education services at various military locations across the country. FPA's financial experts are being called upon to educate military service members and their families on the financial planning process. Learn more about this opportunity, including compensation for participation, and how you can help military families. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want."
--Anna Lappé,
American writer, speaker and activist

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