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January 3, 2013
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A weekly digest of news and industry updates for the financial planning community

  Top Story 
  • Many Americans will pay higher taxes under fiscal deal
    The budget agreement that averted the "fiscal cliff" preserves Bush-era tax cuts for many middle-class Americans, but other taxes will go up this year. A temporary reduction in employees' contributions to Social Security will end, and the average household will pay an extra $1,000. The income tax rate of individuals making more than $400,000 a year and of couples whose combined income is greater than $450,000 will rise to 39.6% from 35%. The Wall Street Journal/Total Return blog (1/2), CBS MoneyWatch (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • "Fiscal cliff" deal changes retirement-contribution rules
    The "fiscal cliff" deal includes a provision allowing workers with 401(k)s, 403(b)s and other defined-contribution plans to convert to a Roth IRA at any time. Until now, plan participants could take such a step only after one of three qualifying events. "Basically, the new rule simply means you can now do intra-plan 401(k) conversions from traditional to Roth in the same manner you can do so for IRAs," writes Michael Kitces. InvestmentNews (free registration) (1/1), Nerd's Eye View blog (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Where does regulation for advisers stand in 2013?
    Early this year, the Department of Labor is expected to propose a rule requiring retirement-plan advisers to follow a fiduciary duty. Whether the DOL will ultimately adopt the controversial rule is up in the air, some insiders say. Legislation changing adviser oversight will likely stall this year as lawmakers focus on other issues. A proposal expected from the Securities and Exchange Commission creating a uniform fiduciary standard could also face delays. (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • Make commitments instead of new year's resolutions
    Financial advisers often set resolutions such as building a stronger client base or adding a skill set, but they can fail to keep them if they don't make a commitment, Gil Weinreich writes. Weinreich defines commitment as a decision that involves another person, such as a business partner, for accountability. AdvisorOne (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Why investment committees are useful to RIA practices
    Investment committees are an administrative convenience, offer a broader perspective on investment decisions, impose discipline and prevent impulsive moves, writes Bob Veres of the Inside Information service. Investment committees originated with larger organizations and are now being adapted by smaller RIA practices, he writes. Advisor Perspectives (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry Report 
  • GAO: Wealthy families are more likely to use 529 plans
    Wealthy families benefit the most from 529 college-savings plans, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office. Less than 3% of households with children in college use the plans, and the GAO found that most of those who do use 529 plans are wealthy. About half bought the plan from a financial adviser. ABC News (1/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • More investors, employers turn to advisers for 401(k) help
    Participants in 401(k) plans are increasingly seeking help from financial advisers as they try to navigate their plans and maximize returns. In addition, more advisers are working with plan sponsors, helping them manage their plans, make improvements and meet legal obligations. Experts say demand for advisers working in both capacities will increase. The Wall Street Journal (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Stock market will reach new highs in 2013, exec says
    Growth in the U.S. housing market and in European economies will help push the Standard & Poor's 500 index to record highs in 2013, predicts Laszlo Birinyi, president of Birinyi Associates. "Our view all along since 2009 is that we're in the midst of a protracted bull market, similar to 1982 and 1992, markets that went on for four or five years," Birinyi said. InvestmentNews (free registration) (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  FPA News 
  • FPA's January webinars focus on compliance and business development
    Jump-start your new year with smart webinars hosted by leaders in the financial planning profession. Learn how to utilize processes and workflows to improve your internal efficiencies and compliance with Jennifer Goldman, CFP®, and how to increase your client referrals and grow your practice with Steve Wershing, CFP®. Register now at the FPA Virtual Learning Center to reserve your spot! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Save 25% on advance registration to FPA conferences
    Now you and your colleagues can access FPA's three annual financial planning conferences for one low rate. FPA Conference Season Passes come in a variety of packages, allowing you to purchase conference registrations for the lowest price now and share them with your colleagues later. Take advantage of this opportunity before the conference season begins! Learn more at LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
There is no delight in owning anything unshared."
--Seneca the Younger,
Roman philosopher and playwright

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