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December 4, 2012
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A weekly digest of news and industry updates for the financial planning community

  Top Story 
  • SRO bill isn't expected to be a priority for Hensarling
    As the new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, is expected to focus on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Dodd-Frank Act. A bill designating a self-regulatory organization for advisers isn't high on his agenda, industry analysts say. Opponents of the bill aren't letting down their guard, however. AdvisorOne (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • SEC likely to be divided with Walter as chairman
    The Securities and Exchange Commission will likely remain deadlocked on many issues after Chairman Mary Schapiro leaves, experts say. Schapiro's seat could remain unfilled for some time, leaving the SEC with two Democrats and two Republicans. That presents a challenging job for Commissioner Elisse Walter, who will take over as chairman, and could further slow the pace of a proposed fiduciary-duty rule for brokers. InvestmentNews (free registration) (12/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Gridlock remains after competing "fiscal cliff" proposals
    President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, have offered competing plans for reducing the federal deficit and avoiding the "fiscal cliff," and both proposals maintain the policy positions that have kept Democrats and Republicans at odds for months. The White House dismissed the plan that Boehner offered Monday, saying it didn't include higher taxes for the wealthy -- something Obama has insisted on. The sides appear no closer to a deal than in recent weeks. Roll Call (free content) (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Practice Management 
  • The right benefits attract the best talent
    A strong benefits plan is essential in recruiting and retaining the best talent, consultant Mary Dunlap writes. Options to consider include health insurance and related accounts, dental insurance and preventive plans. Other benefits welcomed by employees include retirement planning, results-oriented bonuses and incentives, and fringe benefits. Management Center blog (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How advisers can calm anxious clients amid tax uncertainty
    Advisers need to find the right time and place to talk about possible tax changes with anxious clients. Phone conversations won't work for many clients, some advisers say. Also, be prepared to offer a few pieces of fail-safe advice, such as investing in a Roth IRA and, if the client is an entrepreneur, employing one's own children. The Wall Street Journal (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry Report 
  • Survey: 24% of boomers say they will be able to handle LTC costs
    Baby boomers expressed less confidence than did members of Generation X about their ability to finance long-term care for their parents and themselves, according to a report by the Insured Retirement Institute. Among Generation X respondents, 28% expressed confidence about meeting long-term-care costs, while 24% of baby boomers expressed such confidence. In contrast, 37% of baby boomers and 34% of Generation X respondents said they will be able to finance their own medical expenses in retirement, according to the report. National Underwriter Life & Health (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Survey: Generation Y leads in seeking investment advice
    Eighty-four percent of Generation Y is seeking financial advice, compared with 76% of all Americans, a Merrill Edge study says. Many of those born between 1979 and 1991 have entered the workforce at a time of economic turmoil. "They want to take action," said Alok Prasad, head of Merrill Edge. Reuters (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Advisers look for alternatives to TIPS
    Advisers are avoiding Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, as they have become expensive over the past four years. Instead, to manage inflation risk, some are investing in exchange-traded funds that track currencies and commodities, and equities with a focus on natural resources. The Wall Street Journal (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • High-yield bond funds post 2 weeks of net outflows
    Investors appear to be losing interest in high-yield bond funds, based on the two consecutive one-week periods of net outflows that totaled $2.5 billion through Nov. 21. This category has posted a record $69.5 billion in net inflows since the start of 2012. The outflow could be due to the "fiscal cliff," year-end tax-planning strategies or fears that the assets have less value. "It has been a banner year for inflows, and what I see is certainly a degree of discomfort among investors with how fast the asset class has been bought," said Cameron Brandt, director of research at EPFR Global. InvestmentNews (free registration) (12/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  FPA News 
  • Save up to $1,623 with the FPA Conference Season Pass
    FPA hosts several financial planner conferences throughout the year, offering diverse programs for professionals in all career stages and disciplines. Each conference has programming and speakers that ensure high-caliber business management and technical information. There are three Season Pass conference packages to choose from, and each includes savings equal to 25% off early registration fees. Call or e-mail member services, 800-322-4237, option 2, or LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time."
--Betty Smith,
American author

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