Walter will face challenges upon taking SEC reins | Walter seems likely to continue Schapiro's push for fiduciary reform | IPA names McCarthy chairman and adds 5 board members
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November 29, 2012
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Walter will face challenges upon taking SEC reins
Elisse Walter, the successor to Mary Schapiro as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, will start her tenure next month and will immediately face myriad issues, such as back-and-forth over regulation of money market mutual funds and Dodd-Frank rules not yet finalized. Also, unless President Barack Obama renominates her and the Senate approves, her term will end in one year. Reuters (11/27)
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Walter seems likely to continue Schapiro's push for fiduciary reform
Elisse Walter is a close ally of departing Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro and is seen as likely to continue her agenda, including a fiduciary standard for brokers and compensation changes. Walter might also focus on the municipal-security market. Reuters (11/26), MarketWatch (11/26), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (11/28)
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IPA names McCarthy chairman and adds 5 board members
IPA has picked its first broker-dealer chairman, Frank McCarthy of Ameriprise Financial Services. Five board members were added as well. Read IPA's news release. Financial Advisor online (11/28)
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Policy Update
Financial advisers keep close tabs on "fiscal cliff"
Unless they can tap analysts who have a better grip on the "fiscal cliff," financial advisers are struggling like clients in trying to discern whether or how taxes will increase next year. "The reality ... is that everyone is looking at the same information and interpreting it through their own filter," said Ross Levin, an adviser in Edina, Minn. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (11/27)
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Hensarling on track to lead House Financial Services Committee
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, is expected to be confirmed as the next chairman of the House Financial Services Committee after a Republican leadership committee recommended him for the position. Hensarling would succeed Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., who has served the maximum time allowed in such a position. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (11/27)
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SEC wins against companies but less so against individuals
Recent events highlight how the Securities and Exchange Commission has succeeded in bringing corporations to justice regarding the financial crisis, but not individuals. The SEC secured fines from JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse, but it couldn't get convictions for Bruce Bent Sr. and his son, Bruce Bent II, for their roles in the collapse of the Reserve Primary Fund. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/DealBook blog (11/19)
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Industry News
Inland American turns attention to student housing
Student housing is the next focus for Inland American Real Estate Trust. The nontraded real estate investment trust plans to pour $500 million into the sector during the next few years to accommodate an audience that's expanding, even in the economic downturn. "It's a new space so it isn't as crowded as multifamily," said Travis Roberts, president of Inland American's student-housing arm. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (11/27)
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Income Planning
Responding to demand, brokerages offer more alternative investments
Investor appetite for higher returns and more mainstream acceptance have led to a wider presence of alternative investments in client portfolios at many brokerages. Lower capital minimums and shorter lockup periods also are contributing. "Clients who are seeking the diversification that comes from alternative investments can invest in them and maintain liquidity," said Andy Sieg, head of global wealth and retirement solutions at Merrill Lynch. "It broadens the set of clients for whom these are appropriate." The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (11/21)
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Preparing for the 3.8% tax on investment income
A 3.8% tax on investment income will take effect in 2013. Advisers say many clients aren't taking action to prepare for the tax, which Congress adopted in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act. Advice on the right approach for preparing for the tax varies among advisers. AdvisorOne (11/20)
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Last-minute retirement moves for 2012
Savers should consider increasing their 401(k) contributions and making catch-up contributions to maximize tax advantages for retirement savings by the year's end, experts say. The end of the year is also a good time to evaluate your retirement-plan fees and reset for next year the amount of money you direct automatically from your paycheck to retirement savings. U.S. News & World Report (11/26)
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Business Best Practices
5 ways to improve time management without technology
Financial advisers can better manage their time without relying on technology, writes Allyson Lewis, a time strategy expert and author. They can do this by scheduling quiet time away from the phone, cleaning out clutter and taking into account how short people's attention spans generally are. Morningstar Advisor (11/2012)
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3 prospecting tactics help build a retirement-plan practice
Financial advisers who want to build a retirement-plan practice would do well to follow three basic prospecting steps, Ric Lager writes. He recommends beginning with a list of prospects from professional firms and Fortune 500 companies that will lend themselves to a word-of-mouth approach. The next step is to become an expert on plan offerings by gathering the company retirement-plan menus of key clients, he writes. Finally, he suggests developing a list of clients' friends and other contacts. AdvisorOne (11/21)
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IPA Member Information
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet."
-- James Oppenheim,
American poet, novelist and editor
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About IPA
The Investment Program Association (IPA) was formed in 1985 to provide effective national leadership for the direct investment industry. The IPA supports individual investor access to a variety of asset classes not correlated to the traded markets and historically available only to institutional investors. These investments include public non-listed REITs (NLREITs) and Business Development Companies (BDCs), Energy and Equipment Leasing Programs, and private equity offerings. For the last 28 years, the IPA has successfully championed the growth of such products, which have increased in popularity with financial professionals and investors alike. Direct investments are held in the accounts of more than 2 million individual investors, and the IPA's member companies operate or have properties in all 50 states. The mission of the IPA is advocating direct investments through education. Access the wealth of IPA educational materials here, or visit the IPA online for more information about becoming a member.
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