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October 16, 2012
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A weekly digest of news and industry updates for the financial planning community

  Top Story 
  • Prospects for U.S. economy truly have improved
    Despite skepticism from some, data showing significant improvement in the U.S. labor market are real, according to The Economist. "Although the drop in the unemployment rate was surprisingly sharp, there is no obvious reason for it to reverse," the magazine notes. "The [Bureau of Labor Statistics] actually revised up its payroll employment figures for July and August to more robust levels, and in September found people working longer hours at higher pay." The Economist (10/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • SEC proposes 2-year extension of principal-trading rule
    The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed extending a rule that allows investment advisers who are dually registered as brokers to sell stocks and bonds from their firms' product inventories until Dec. 31, 2014. The rule is set to expire this year. "The temporary extension makes sense as long as there is a [uniform] fiduciary rule somewhere in the offing," says Dan Barry, managing director of government relations at the Financial Planning Association. "If a fiduciary rule making is in significant doubt, they should start looking at the temporary principal-trading rule as if it has some permanence." InvestmentNews (free registration) (10/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SEC's Schapiro pushes to increase maximum penalties
    Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro is supporting a bill that would allow the SEC to obtain larger penalties from companies. The current maximum is $725,000 for an entity accused of wrongdoing; the bill would raise the penalty per violation to $10 million for institutions and $1 million for individuals. The Wall Street Journal/CFO Journal (tiered subscription model) (10/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Committee: Ending deductions pays for a 4% decrease in tax rates
    The Joint Committee on Taxation finds that eliminating itemized deductions and taxing capital gains as ordinary income would pay for only a 4% reduction in tax rates. The analysis also considered ending popular tax deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions, which would be politically difficult for Congress to pass. The Hill/On the Money blog (10/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Bair: SEC is responsible for money market fund industry
    Former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair says the Securities and Exchange Commission needs to take responsibility for regulation of the money market mutual fund industry. Bair says the industry poses a systemic risk to the financial system and is "not stable." Bloomberg (10/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SEC takes team approach to investigations, enforcement
    The Securities and Exchange Commission is joining up examiners and enforcement personnel in its investigations of brokerage and advisory firms. It is also looking at such metrics as head count in a firm, especially in risk management. Attrition in risk management while the business grows could be a red flag to regulators. InvestmentNews (free registration) (10/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SEC double-checks ADV forms for accuracy: The Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing advisers' ADV forms to see whether advisers have lied about their credentials. The agency is also looking for discrepancies in education, business background and disciplinary disclosures, in many cases independently confirming these areas. InvestmentNews (free registration) (10/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • How to create a successful practice
    Creating your own success story as a financial planner requires several steps, writes Daniel C. Finley. These steps include identifying your top challenges, customizing tools and techniques to meet these challenges, and maintaining accountability for changes you make. Business success will provide the motivation to keep up these steps. Management Center blog (10/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry Report 
  • Bernstein: Big bull market ahead
    Richard Bernstein, Merrill Lynch's former chief investment strategist, predicts that the U.S. economy is heading into the early stages of a significant bull market that might surpass the one from 1982 to 1999. He noted that bull markets usually begin in a period of widespread fear and that the current atmosphere is similar to that of 30 years ago. Financial Advisor online (10/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Advisers are confident about their business prospects, survey finds
    Financial advisers feel confident about their own businesses' prospects but are more concerned about the prospects for their clients, according to Charles Schwab Advisor Services' 12th semiannual Independent Advisor Outlook Study. Sixty-three percent of advisers say it will be difficult for clients to meet their goals. However, 8 in 10 are bullish about their assets under management and firm profitability. Financial Advisor online (10/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Investors ask about annuities more than other products
    Annuities are asked about more than any other product, according to Cerulli Associates. Last year, annuities were sixth in a list of products in a similar survey. The Roth individual retirement account, which was asked about the most last year, was second in this year's survey. InvestmentNews (free registration) (10/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Capitol Update 
  FPA News 
  • Celebrate Financial Planning Week!
    Financial Planning Week® celebrations continue throughout the month of October. Check out events FPA chapters are conducting nationwide to help thousands of Americans discover the value of financial planning, including Financial Planning Days, call-in hotlines, personal finance seminars and more. Learn about these activities at LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Safe Withdrawal Rates: What Do We Really Know?
    Michael Kitces, himself a key contributor to the literature on financial planning, interviews top innovators Bill Bengen, Jon Guyton and Wade Pfau to find out what they believe -- and what they still hope to discover -- about safe retirement withdrawal rates. Read the recent Journal article now. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace."
Roman poet

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