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January 29, 2013
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Brought to you by the American Institute of CPAs

  Top Story 
  • 1,100 attendees flock to AICPA PFP conference
    A record 1,100 advisers attended the AICPA's Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference, held last week, up from 820 in 2012, writes Deborah Fox, founder of Fox Financial Planning Network. The conference covered tax and estate laws that had just been enacted, with the speakers putting together their presentations at the last minute to cover the new developments. In general, the conference has significantly upgraded its content, with the goal of delivering advanced, technical continuing education. Find out what all the buzz was about by searching #AICPAPFP on Twitter. Registration is already open for the 2014 conference! Register and join us Jan. 20 to 22 in Las Vegas. (1/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CPAs have growing influence as personal-finance fiduciaries
    Growth among industry designations is strong, and the number of CPAs specializing in advising clients on personal finance as fiduciaries is rapidly increasing. A broader coalition of professional bodies, including CPAs, would carry more weight with legislative and regulatory bodies and provide protection to consumers, writes Andrew Gluck, founder and CEO of Advisor Products. "The influence CPAs have on financial planning professionals and the nation's 67,000 CFPs is thus likely to grow in the years ahead," Gluck writes. CPAs specializing in tax, estate, retirement, risk management and investments have access to resources, advocacy and education from the AICPA's Personal Financial Planning Section. Advisors4Advisors (1/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Industry News and Trends 
  • Mary Jo White's likely agenda for the SEC
    Former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White has been nominated to be the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Her background as a prosecutor is expected to translate into increased enforcement activity by the agency and a greater insistence that wrongdoers admit culpability instead of merely paying fines. White will also oversee the implementation of several rules mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, including whistle-blower provisions and rules to stabilize money market funds. Her vote also is expected to break the current deadlock over the uniform fiduciary standard. (1/24), (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Estate & Elder Planning 
  • CPAs should watch for signs of elder abuse and fraud
    Between 1 million and 2 million U.S. senior citizens are victims of elder abuse and neglect, usually at the hands of their adult children or spouses. CPAs are in a good position to recognize the signs of such abuse as well as financial fraud aimed at elders, writes Michael David Schulman, CPA/PFS, of Schulman CPA. Financial fraud includes investment scams, telemarketing fraud and door-to-door scams. "If you suspect that an adult is being abused, call the adult protective services unit of the local department of human services," Schulman writes. Wealth Management Insider (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • A comprehensive estate plan includes philanthropic planning
    Financial advisers should help high-net-worth clients focus on the "softer" side of their estate planning, as well as the nuts-and-bolts aspects, writes Susan Winer, senior vice president and a founder of Strategic Philanthropy. "From a business development and client services perspective, focusing on the tax planning aspect of philanthropy and not the role or value of philanthropy in their client's life is a missed opportunity for both the adviser and the client," Winer writes. A philanthropic legacy plan will address this. Wealth Management Insider (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Retirement, Investment & Insurance Planning 
  • Commentary: Fiduciary standard may carry a range of pros, cons
    Establishing a uniform fiduciary standard for financial advisers would require that "the products implemented by financial advisors of all types would have to pass muster as genuinely being in the client's best interests," writes Michael Kitces. However, a uniform standard could affect customer access to advisers as well as the overall number of advisers and the cost of their services, but it's unclear whether the impact would be positive or negative. Kitces lays out the potential pros and cons, reiterating his expectation that discussion of the fiduciary standard will be a major issue in 2013. Nerd's Eye View blog (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Long-term care tops retirement nest egg among investor concerns
    A study by UBS Wealth Management Americas shows that investors are more worried about affording long-term health care than securing a comfortable retirement. Financial planners have traditionally helped clients invest with an eye toward retirement income. However, "the big unknown impacting those later years in life has become healthcare and long-term care costs," UBS reports. (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Tax Topix 
  • Stock market returns are more apt to influence charitable donations
    Higher stocks are the true driver behind charitable giving -- not merely tax issues, according to U.S. Trust managing director Ramsay Slugg. "Charitable giving is not as tax-motivated as we conventionally think it is," Slugg said. Many people who donate to charity don't itemize, negating any tax advantage. AdvisorOne (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Compliance, planning issues surrounding the new 3.8% Medicare surtax
    The AICPA recently hosted a webinar discussing compliance and planning issues related to new provisions in the tax code under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The changes that took effect Jan. 1 include a new 3.8% net investment income tax. The tax will apply to unearned income for individual taxpayers whose income exceeds $200,000 and married couples filing jointly with income over $250,000. AccountingWEB (1/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  You and Your Practice 
  • Nonfinancial incentives keep employees happy, too
    Higher salaries and better benefits are most valued by employees at financial advisory firms, according to an online survey by CareerBuilder. However, a flexible work schedule is important to 51%. Employee recognition, such as awards, cash prizes and company trips, would keep 50% of respondents at their company, and 48% cited being asked for feedback and seeing their suggestions implemented. "We're seeing work-life balance, telecommuting options and learning opportunities outweigh other job factors when an employee decides whether to stay with an organization," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. InvestmentNews (free registration) (1/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Take a walk!
    People who work in offices spend more time sitting than doing any other activity, including sleeping, Nilofer Merchant writes. She compares the adverse health effects of pervasive sitting to those of smoking. Merchant recommends adding motion elements, such as walking meetings, to the workday routine. Harvard Business Review online (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  • Tomorrow! Latest Trends & Developments in Long-Term Care Insurance
    In this Web seminar from 1 to 2:15 p.m. ET tomorrow, Michael Kitces will review the recent trends and developments in the long-term-care insurance industry, from consolidation in the industry and the elimination of lifetime benefits and limited-pay premium options to the rising popularity of new hybrid LTC insurance contracts pairing the coverage together with a life or annuity policy as a new form of "asset-based" long-term-care protection. This webinar is free for PFP Section members, inclusive of PFS credential holders without optional CPE or discounted CPE for purchase. This seminar is available for purchase to all. Can't attend the webinar? Listen to a podcast on the LTC landscape from Michael Kitces. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • 2013 Key Numbers for busy season
    Updated for the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, Forefield Advisor's 2013 Key Numbers (available to PFP/PFS members) can be used to get a head start on creating client plans for the new year, or to connect with prospects and other centers of influence. Newly updated, this piece lists key figures for 2012 and 2013, and gives you the most essential figures for busy season in one convenient document by providing key figures across income, investment, education, retirement, business, estate and protection planning, and also includes federal income tax rate schedules for individuals, trusts and estates. Not a member? Download a free two-page excerpt focused on retirement planning. Join the PFP Section for full access to Forefield Advisor, and save $50 on your first year of membership when you enter promo code CPALDPFP at checkout. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • The Financial Advisor's Guide to LinkedIn
    PFP members and CPA/PFS holders have access to The Financial Advisor's Guide to LinkedIn. This user guide will walk you through setting up your profile, effectively using the social media outlet, and understanding important compliance considerations. AICPA members also have access to the CPA marketing toolkit, which includes a Social Media Strategy Booklet, LinkedIn Guide, Facebook Guide, Twitter Guide and Blogging Guide. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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If fate means you to lose, give him a good fight anyhow."
--William McFee,
British-American writer

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About the PFP Section
The AICPA's Personal Financial Planning Section is the premier provider of information, tools, advocacy and guidance for CPAs who specialize in providing estate, tax, retirement, risk management and investment planning and advice to their individuals and closely held entities. The PFP Section’s primary objective is to support its members by providing resources that enable them to perform valuable personal financial planning services in the highest professional manner. Members of this section broaden their technical expertise, improve their professional competence and receive resources to deliver high-quality, profitable PFP services. All AICPA members, generally, are eligible to join the PFP Section.
About the PFS Credential
The Personal Financial Specialist credential distinguishes CPAs as having demonstrated that they have the subject matter expertise and experience necessary to deliver financial planning services of the highest, as well as the CPA's traditional hallmarks of uncompromising objectivity, integrity and adherence to the AICPA's Code of Professional Conduct. CPA/PFS credential holders demonstrate their expertise through financial planning education, experience and testing.

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