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January 3, 2013
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Twice-weekly summary of financial industry news
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  Top News 
  • Many Americans will pay higher taxes in 2013 despite deal: The budget bill that averted the "fiscal cliff" will preserve tax cuts for many middle-class Americans, but other taxes will go up in 2013. A temporary reduction in employees' contributions to Social Security will end, and the average household will pay an extra $1,000 this year. 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%. CBS MoneyWatch (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • An analysis of the regulatory outlook for advisers in 2013
    The U.S. Labor Department may issue a fiduciary-duty regulation for retirement-plan advisers this year, although the proposal is controversial and its adoption remains uncertain, Kenneth Corbin writes. In other issues for 2013, legislative debate on a self-regulatory organization for advisers seems to have stalled, and one insider says that even if such a bill is introduced, it is unlikely to become law. At the Securities and Exchange Commission, a uniform fiduciary standard and money market fund reform are issues to watch this year, Corbin writes. (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Building Your Business 
  • Advisers should be deliberate about rebalancing, experts say
    Advisers with a haphazard approach to rebalancing their clients' portfolios could be missing opportunities, experts say. Some advisers use software to guide their rebalancing. "Having a consistent and persistent process that you execute against is important," says Michael Abelson of Genworth Financial Wealth Management. The Wall Street Journal (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Financial Products 
  • 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
  • Merrill Lynch sells nontraded REIT, citing mass-affluent demand
    Bank of America Merrill Lynch has begun selling the Jones Lang LaSalle Income Property Trust, a nontraded real estate investment trust. The offering marks the first time a major wirehouse has sold a nontraded REIT. "We believe there is significant demand for an attractive, direct core real estate investment product among mass-affluent investors," said Keith Glenfield, head of alternative investments at Merrill Lynch. InvestmentNews (free registration) (1/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Retirement Focus 
  • Study: High automatic 401(k) deferral rates may hurt participation
    Employers who set high default deferral rates in an attempt to compel worker participation in 401(k) plans may find the results disappointing, according to a study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. While plans with automatic enrollment and escalation have been successful, high deferral rates could lead participants to promptly decrease their deferrals, the study found. Group demographics play a role, particularly in the case of low-income workers who were "nudged" to invest their income-tax returns rather than spend them, researchers said of an experimental project involving a savings-bonds program. (1/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  FSI Member News & Events 
  • Don't Miss OneVoice 2013!
    Jan. 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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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

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