Tax-cut legislation for small businesses gains House approval | SEC works to improve cost analysis, Schapiro says | SEC picks associate director to oversee investment-adviser regulation
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April 24, 2012
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Planners warn against cutting retirement incentives
The prospect that Congress could cut key retirement tax incentives to boost short-term revenue has financial planners increasingly worried. Some lawmakers are considering eliminating or limiting incentives such as tax-deferred contributions for retirement accounts. The idea has drawn criticism from planners and other industry experts. "If it's not the stupidest thing that ever happened out of Washington, I can't think of one," FPA President Paul Auslander said. InvestmentNews (free registration) (4/22)
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Policy Watch
Tax-cut legislation for small businesses gains House approval
The House voted largely by party line to approve Majority Leader Eric Cantor's plan to cut small-business taxes 20%. Democrats objected to the measure's $46 billion cost and said it would help primarily wealthy taxpayers. Both parties are staking out tax-policy positions ahead of the fall election. The Hill/Floor Action Blog (4/19)
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SEC works to improve cost analysis, Schapiro says
Mary Schapiro, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, told a House committee that the agency is working to improve its calculations of the costs of its rule-making. The guidance "states that as a policy matter, where a statute directs rule-making, rule writing staff should consider the overall economic impacts, including both those attributable to congressional mandates and those that result from an exercise of the commission's discretion," Schapiro said. "This approach should allow for a more comprehensive evaluation of alternative means of meeting a statutory mandate and give the most complete picture of a rule's economic effects." Bloomberg (4/17)
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SEC picks associate director to oversee investment-adviser regulation
The Securities and Exchange Commission has named Diane Blizzard associate director for regulatory policy and investment-adviser regulation in the Division of Investment Management, replacing Robert Plaze, who is now the division's deputy director. Blizzard will oversee rule-making and policy that governs investment advisers. National Underwriter Life & Health (4/19)
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Other News
Practice Management
2 keys to creating an engaging work environment
Firms that are among the "best places to work" emphasize career development and listen to their team members' opinions, Commonwealth Financial Network's Joni Youngwirth writes. "If you avoid talking to staff members about their definition of career development, you're missing a great opportunity," Youngwirth writes. Good managers also involve their team members in decision-making by seeking input on issues that directly affect them. Journal of Financial Planning online/Practice Management blog (4/17)
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Experts: To win female clients, cancel women's investment seminars
Advisers shouldn't offer seminars focused on women because such a tactic is likely to backfire, one expert says. During a webcast this week on winning female clients, advisers said that while women approach finances differently than men do, they don't want to be singled out as a group. InvestmentNews (free registration) (4/18)
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Join the discussion:
Have you found that seminars specifically branded to target women have been less than effective? Or have you had a positive experience to share? Go to FPA's Women & Finance community to share your thoughts. (FPA Members Only)
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Financial advisers face hurdles in recruiting young candidates
Financial advisers have positions to fill this year but are having a hard time attracting promising young candidates who expect employers to show them a defined path for advancement and a job description. Two-thirds of financial advisers have no clear career path for new employees and more than half haven't written job descriptions, according to the TD Ameritrade Advisor Index of 502 registered investment advisers. InvestmentNews (free registration) (4/22)
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Tips for promoting your firm through video
I-Impact Group President Claudio Pannunzio gives five tips for making an effective promotional video for your firm. Start with a script and pay attention to lighting, audio and editing. It also helps to keep your pitch short and concise. "If we do not engage our audiences within the first 20-30 seconds, chances are we've lost them," Pannunzio writes. Journal of Financial Planning online/Practice Management blog (4/20)
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Industry Report
Survey: 45% of Americans have no financial plan
A Northwestern Mutual study indicates that 45% of Americans don't have a financial plan, many of them because they approach finances informally or because they have no financial goals at all. The results, part of the Planning and Progress Study, also found that a majority of Americans recognize that their financial planning needs to improve. BenefitsPro.com (4/19)
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Financial planners can help low-income people, study finds
Financial planners can play an important role in improving financial outcomes for low-income households, according to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Receiving professional advice was correlated with other activities such as saving and asset building. Having access to basic financial tools such as a checking account was also key, the report found. However, just 17% of individuals in the study reported having worked with a financial expert. AdvisorOne (4/20)
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Slower growth forces investors to rethink their fixed-income strategy
Fixed-income investors will need to take steps to adjust to slower growth and other risks after the recession, writes Russ Koesterich, global chief investment strategist for BlackRock's iShares ETF business. While fixed-income investments will remain key, some clients may want to increase their allocation of equities. For others, it may be time to look to opportunities in corporate debt, municipal bonds and emerging markets. Seeking Alpha (free registration) (4/20)
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Natural gas prices are set to boom, fund manager says
Natural gas is in the same place gold was in 1997, DoubleLine Capital CEO Jeffrey Gundlach says. Investors can expect the price of natural gas to increase significantly in the coming years after a recent slump. A similar pattern was seen in gold prices, also, before the current rally, according to Gundlach. InvestmentNews (free registration) (4/19)
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Other News
FPA News
2011 Report to FPA Members available
The Financial Planning Association has posted its 2011 Report to Members. This year in review provides a financial report and perspectives and highlights of FPA's activities, programs and new initiatives in 2011.
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6 days left to get your free copy of this year's Salary Survey!
FPA members can participate in this year's Financial Planning Salary Survey and receive a free full copy of the digital edition in advance of publication (a $125 value!). The Salary Survey includes everything from compensation and benefits to hiring and retention for more than 20 job positions. As a survey participant, you'll also receive instant access to the 2009 Financial Planning Salary Survey, an entry to win a $200 Amazon.com gift card and the satisfaction of contributing to the industry's most comprehensive compensation report!
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