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March 5, 2013
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A weekly digest of news and industry updates for the financial planning community

  Top Story 
  • SEC seeks information on cost of fiduciary standard
    The Securities and Exchange Commission has released a request for information to help it weigh the costs and benefits of a rule that would impose a fiduciary standard of care on brokers. The request "will help us in our ongoing consideration of alternative standards of conduct for certain broker-dealers and investment advisers, as well as potential harmonization of other aspects of regulation in this area," SEC Chairman Elisse Walter said. AdvisorOne (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • Lawyer cites areas to watch on DOL's fiduciary rule
    When the Labor Department reproposes its fiduciary rule, issues likely to draw scrutiny are the precise formulation of prohibited-transaction exemptions, the way the rules affect the IRA marketplace and the way rollover solicitations will be treated, says Brad Campbell, an attorney with Drinker Biddle & Reath and the former head of the Employee Benefits Security Administration. AdvisorOne (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • Study: Adviser referrals are won with trust, not badgering
    The top reason people refer their friends to an adviser is because the friends disclose they're having a financial problem, and the second reason is because they've been asked for a recommendation, research finds. Eleven percent of clients in the survey said they referred their advisers because the advisers asked them to. "Advisers have been asking clients to do the prospecting for them, and that's not fair and it's not what they signed up for," said Stephen Wershing of The Client Driven Practice. InvestmentNews (free registration) (3/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry Report 
  • Commentary: Use reverse mortgages early, strategically
    Starting in April, reverse-mortgage borrowers can no longer access fixed-rate HECM Standard reverse mortgages. Fixed rates will only be available via the HECM Saver loans, which are for smaller amounts. The Department of Housing and Urban Development's reasoning is that borrowers who secure fixed-rate reverse mortgages often find themselves unable to pay the necessary insurance and property taxes to meet the loan's terms, Michael Kitces writes. Consumers "might be better positioned if they proactively used a reverse mortgage earlier, coordinated as part of a broader income/spending plan over time," Kitces writes. Nerd's Eye View blog (2/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Report calls for a holistic approach to retirement planning
    The financial planning industry should take a more holistic approach to reach those who don't have retirement plans, a report by the Deloitte Center for Financial Services says. "Retirement goals probably should not be addressed in a vacuum, oblivious to the more immediate pressing financial demands on most people," the report says. Financial Advisor online (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Deferred-income annuities are starting to catch on
    New York Life's deferred-income annuity product has exceeded $1 billion in sales, which points to their growing appeal, possibly because of larger annual payouts than immediate annuities. "They want a pension," Matt Grove of New York Life says about the product's buyers. Deferred-income annuities still represent a fraction of all annuity sales, but more insurance companies are offering them. MarketWatch/Encore blog (2/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • College-savings ambitions threaten parents' retirement plans
    Parents increasingly are risking their financial futures in order to help pay for their children's college tuition, a report from Sallie Mae says. The student-loan provider found that one-third of people who are saving for retirement expect to raid that fund to help pay for their children's college costs. In addition to risking their retirement, parents making that move can reduce their financial-aid eligibility for the next year, one expert says. CNBC (2/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Late-in-life divorce can be expensive for retirees
    More baby boomers are divorcing, and the decision to split can leave one or both spouses scrambling for a secure retirement, experts say. Experts suggest older couples who divorce should hire financial advisers before dividing assets, avoid supporting adult children, and either reduce spending or work longer to make up for lost money. USA Today (2/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  FPA News 
  • Change: Surviving it, managing it, creating it
    FPA Retreat 2013 is a transformative experience. This conference is a time-honored tradition where the best and brightest carve time out of their busy schedules so they can play an integral part in shaping the future of the financial planning profession. Learn more about the conference schedule and join us May 4 to 6 in Palm Springs, Calif. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Career asset management: Where wealth is created
    It is more challenging today for financial planners to articulate our value proposition to clients, especially if what we base our relationships on primarily consists of investment returns. With the challenging economy, low financial returns and employment uncertainty, clients question how we can justify our fees. Read more in the recent Journal of Financial Planning. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
The person whose doors I enter with most pleasure, and quit with most regret, never did me the smallest favor."
--William Hazlitt,
British writer and philosopher

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