Report: Recovering retirement assets hit $19.5 trillion last year | Possible federal fiduciary definition raises issues, lawmakers say | Expert: Suitability training is key for fixed-annuity sales
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March 28, 2013
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Report: Recovering retirement assets hit $19.5 trillion last year
U.S. retirement assets increased 8.3% in 2012 to hit $19.5 trillion, continuing a recovery since 2009, the Investment Company Institute says. Retirement assets represented 36% of all household assets held by Americans at the end of 2012. AdvisorOne (3/27)
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Industry Update
Possible federal fiduciary definition raises issues, lawmakers say
Eight members of the House Financial Services Committee who also are members of the Congressional Black Caucus say they're concerned about a Labor Department effort to expand the definition of "fiduciary." The change was first proposed in 2010, then scrapped after it met firm resistance. "We maintain concerns that if the re-proposal reflects the department's initial fiduciary proposal, it could disparately impact retirement savers and investment representatives in the African-American community," states the letter, signed by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and seven others. InvestmentNews (free registration) (3/27)
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Expert: Suitability training is key for fixed-annuity sales
Firms should establish a training program on suitability for sales of fixed annuities, as required by the model regulation adopted by many states, says Alex Holloman III of Athene Annuity & Life Assurance. The program should include an understanding of any pre-suitability processes that insurers may have, as well as training in the products and state regulations, Holloman says. National Underwriter Life & Health (3/27)
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Intel offers retirees grants to find new work
Intel is among U.S. companies that are encouraging workers nearing retirement to launch new careers with nonprofits by giving them financial help to get started. The Intel Encore Career Fellowship gives a one-year grant of $25,000 to transition to new jobs in the nonprofit world. The company helps match retirees with open jobs. Reuters (3/26)
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Financial Literacy
Analysis: How 401(k) fees vary by company
Retirement savers who put away the same amount of money over their careers can have significantly different results at the end depending on the fees charged by their employers' 401(k) plans, according to an analysis by FutureAdvisor. For example, plans offered by Best Buy and FedEx could leave comparable savers with ending balances that differ by nearly $100,000. Experts recommend checking employers' 401(k) offerings for low-fee options to minimize lost earnings. CNNMoney (3/28)
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On the Economy
Sebelius: Health care costs could shift under ACA
Potential "shifting in the markets" could result in higher individual health insurance costs for younger consumers and men once the Affordable Care Act goes into effect, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says. Women, older consumers and those with pre-existing conditions are likely to see lower costs, Sebelius said. Reuters (3/26)
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Building Your Practice
With spring's arrival, treat your practice like a garden
Spring is the perfect time to prune out the clients and employees who are stunting the growth of your practice, to decide what new projects to take on and to "plant" new service models, writes Ron Carson of Carson Wealth Management Group. "Once you've planted for growth, the job has only started," he writes. "You have to take care of what you've put in place. That may mean investing in new technology to support growth or revising your results-based pay to engage your team." Prosperous Advisor blog (3/25)
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When the HR department gets in the way
As advisory firms grow, they often delegate oversight of employees to the human resources team. But doing so can add bureaucracy and undermine productivity, Angie Herbers writes. Owners must stay attuned to their employees, conveying the firm's mission and acting as a coach and mentor. "To create a truly successful, growing firm, owner-advisors need to delegate the administration of employees to HR, but continue preparing, training and supervising employees -- to maximize their happiness, sense of purpose and contributions to their firm," Herbers writes. AdvisorOne (3/22)
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Adventure is worthwhile in itself."
-- Amelia Earhart,
American aviator
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