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December 17, 2012
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Twice-weekly summary of financial industry news
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  Top News 
 
  • Boehner gives ground on debt ceiling and tax-rate increases
    House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, sought to jump-start the deadlocked fiscal negotiations on Friday, offering a one-year truce over debt-ceiling increases as well as marginal tax-rate increases for those with income of more than $1 million. Democrats said the offer didn't go far enough, but they welcomed Boehner's openness to tax-rate increases. "Recognizing the importance of raising tax rates is a big, positive and important step," said former White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers. The Washington Post (12/16), Politico (Washington, D.C.) (12/16), The Hill/On The Money blog (12/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Reasons to plan: the video your female clients must see.
We asked 10 women to describe their experiences with aging and chronic illness. What they said may surprise you and change the way you help your clients prepare for their future.
Watch our video now at prudential.com/reasons.

  Policy Watch 
  • FSOC considers Fed supervision of money funds
    The Financial Stability Oversight Council, led by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, has discussed the possibility of placing money market mutual funds under Federal Reserve regulation. Treasury Department spokeswoman Suzanne Elio says the council discussed a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act that would let it designate money funds "or their sponsors or advisers for Federal Reserve supervision and enhanced prudential standards." Bloomberg (12/13), Reuters (12/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Bonus disclosures could have a downside for Wall Street firms
    Requiring Wall Street brokerages to make bonuses public could backfire as workers use the information to negotiate for higher pay, recruiters and former brokers said. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is considering a proposal, intended to protect the investing public, to require brokerage firms to disclose incentives used to recruit financial advisers. Bloomberg (12/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Regulators press advisers to plan for death
    Financial advisers who fail to adopt a continuity plan to deal with clients' accounts in case the adviser dies or becomes disabled could be fined by regulators, compliance professionals say. Regulators often raise the issue in routine examination, they say. Reuters (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
How Much Do You Really Need to Make? The Answer May Shock You
Rather than focus on what you can afford to pull out of the business to cover your living expenses, you need to focus on how much you need to earn at your business in order to afford the lifestyle you want to have. This is where the Personal Earnings Goal, or PEG, comes into play. Learn how to calculate your PEG and find out how much you really need to make.

  Building Your Business 
 
Building Workplace Trust 2015
Interaction Associates' 6th annual research study tracking trust on the job, Building Workplace Trust, is out, and more than half of employees surveyed give their organizations low marks for trust and leadership. Yet this year's findings again point to how high trust leads to better outcomes and financial results — and even boosts innovation.

  Financial Products 
 
  • Advisers frustrated with money market funds
    Between low yields and uncertainty around regulations regarding a floating NAV and other proposals, advisers have grown frustrated with money market funds. Many advisers are reducing reliance on the vehicles and seeking out alternatives, mainly certificates of deposit and online savings accounts. The Wall Street Journal (12/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. college savings plans come up short on transparency
    The 529 plans many American families depend on for tax-free savings to be applied to higher education offer little transparency, something the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board is trying to remedy by compiling a readily accessible performance database. "The MSRB wants to ensure that 529-plan investors have the information necessary to make informed decisions -- especially for something as vital as saving for a child's education. A comprehensive database of 529-plan information will help us achieve this goal," said MSRB Chairman Jay Goldstone. The Wall Street Journal (12/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Reverse-mortgage program drains taxpayers
    The Federal Housing Administration is on course to lose $2.8 billion this year and billions more at least through 2019 on reverse mortgages, according to an estimate by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The problem is FHA's guarantees, which reduce personal risk and amount to a subsidy for older Americans that allows them to spend down their savings. The agency now accounts for 90% of outstanding reverse mortgages. The Wall Street Journal (12/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Transformational Journeys: Modern Business Planning
Harvard Business Review explores why CFO's and their finance organizations must adapt to the changing landscape of their markets and how big data, organizational collaboration, and new cloud-based planning and analysis technologies are driving successful change.
Click here to access the report.

  Technology Update 
 
  • Points to ponder on Windows 8 for advisers
    Windows 8 has faced some criticism in reviews for its usability, but the operating system offers features that might appeal to advisers, Joel Bruckenstein writes, citing security enhancements, customization, integrated contact management and a better experience using Microsoft Office programs. Financial-Planning.com (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
How to Achieve IT Agility: A Survival Guide for IT Decision Makers
When business teams add new apps and services to already-strained networks, IT departments are accountable for making everything work. Is your team ready for this challenge? Read this eGuide to learn how IT teams are automating their networks, why they're utilizing Ethernet fabrics and SDN, and what success looks like as they regain network control and business relevance.

  FSI Member News & Events 
  • Don't Miss OneVoice 2013!
      
    January 28 to 30 | San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina | San Diego

    OneVoice is FSI's annual in-person gathering for the independent financial services firm community. OneVoice 2013 will give you a first look at what to expect next year, with insights into the November election results, changing consumer behavior, technology trends in 2013, new regulatory and compliance developments, and much more! Visit here for more information and to register for OneVoice 2013 today! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Editor's Note 
  • Clarification
    The Dec. 13 edition of FSI Newsbrief included a summary detailing how financial advisers expect assets under advisement to increase 8.4% next year. The source article for that item has since been updated to clarify that financial advisers expect return on assets under advisement to increase 8.4% in 2013. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  SmartQuote 
We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action."
--Frank Tibolt,
American author


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FSI was formed in January 2004 as an advocacy and membership organization for independent broker-dealers and independent financial advisors. We provide insight, information, influence, and involvement--all in support of our mission to provide visibility, credibility, and an improved regulatory environment for the independent channel. Learn more at financialservices.org

 
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