FPA: Financial planners treated unfairly under Reg BI | Financial firms should support employees, community | Rethink business practices while easing back to routine
May 26, 2020
FPA SmartBrief
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Top Story
The Financial Planning Association says the Securities and Exchange Commission's Regulation Best Interest treats financial planners unfairly by allowing broker-dealers to provide investment advice "without registration under the Investment Advisers Act" and the attendant fiduciary duty. FPA made its comments to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in a friend of the court brief filed in support of the case brought by XY Planning Network against Reg BI, and oral arguments have been set for June 2.
Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (5/21) 
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Practice Management
It's important for financial firms to support their employees and communities during the coronavirus pandemic, writes Brian McLaughlin, CEO of Redtail Technology. Among the ways his firm has been able to do so are spending at local businesses, doing events to promote team spirit and providing free webinars and online training seminars for its clients.
Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (5/20) 
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As advisory firms start to ease back into normal business routines, now is a good time to rethink long-term practices and how they could improve, consultant Barbara Herman writes. She recommends examining five key areas of the business, including communication client relationships, team roles and continuity plans.
Full Story: WealthManagement (5/19) 
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Calm nerves and avoid technical issues by running a practice session a few days before the actual webinar and log in 15 minutes early on the day of, suggest Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols of The Oechsli Institute. Besides dressing professionally and making sure you have proper lighting and audio, the authors note the importance of a scripted introduction and a call to action at the end.
Full Story: WealthManagement (5/14) 
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Conducting client reviews is still important during the coronavirus pandemic, said Ken Haman, managing director of Alliance Bernstein's Advisor Institute, but they will likely be different. Advisers should ask more personal questions, offer sophisticated capital markets perspective and reassure clients that they can still have confidence in their investment plans, Haman said.
Full Story: Financial Advisor online (5/21) 
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Policy Watch
The Securities and Exchange Commission should revise reporting requirements for public companies to include environmental, social and governance issues, the SEC's investor advisory committee says. The SEC should take the lead on ESG disclosure "before other jurisdictions impose disclosure regimes on US issuers and investors alike," the committee says.
Full Story: Pensions & Investments (free access for SmartBrief readers) (5/21) 
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The US Labor Department has released the final version of a rule authorizing electronic disclosure of retirement-plan information. The rule lets plan administrators use email or the web to deliver information.
Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (5/21) 
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The IRS has issued annual inflation-adjusted limits for contributions to health savings accounts permitted to participants in high-deductible health plans. Most amounts have increased slightly from 2020 amounts.
Full Story: Journal of Accountancy online (5/20),  CNBC (5/20) 
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The Securities and Exchange Commission's Regulation Best Interest largely replaces the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's suitability rule, but there are exceptions, says Robert Colby, FINRA's chief legal officer. Requirements for products such as variable annuities and options "are still in place," Colby says.
Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (5/20) 
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Industry Report
As states start to reopen after stay-at-home orders and financial advisory firms decide how people will return to the office, they should consider a hybrid model where employees continue to work some of the time at home, Angie Herbers of Herbers & Co. writes. Before instituting such a work arrangement, firm owners must decide how often their teams need to be together and what work can be done from home, she writes.
Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (5/20) 
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Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies survey data showed 53% of people said their confidence in their ability to retire comfortably has stayed during the novel coronavirus pandemic, while 23% said their confidence had decreased. Survey data from the Alliance for Lifetime Income found 4% of investors with at least $100,000 in investments said the crisis has had a "considerable negative impact" on their retirement plans.
Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (5/19) 
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Whether it's better for a parent or grandparent to own a 529 account depends on a number of factors, writes Sarah Mouser of Cassaday & Company. She lays out the pros and cons of each situation and how it affects students attending college.
Full Story: Advisor Perspectives (5/19) 
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FPA News
FPA offers online guide to help navigate COVID-19 turmoil
As you cope with the recent turmoil in the markets stemming from the spread of COVID-19 (the coronavirus), FPA is supporting members by offering an online Volatility Resource Center to help financial planners navigate the markets and better serve their clients. Access now.
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Call for applications: 2021 FPA Board of Directors
Are you passionate about elevating the profession that transforms lives through the power of financial planning? If you are ready to take on a leadership role, FPA invites you to consider submitting an application for service on the 2021 FPA Board of Directors. Join a group of dedicated, dynamic FPA leaders who recognize the importance of today’s actions on the future of the profession by contacting FPABoard@OneFPA.org to receive a board application package. Applications are due July 1, 2020. Learn more about FPA Board service and how you can apply.
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FPA supports financial planning students who lost summer opportunities due to Covid-19
Students and recent graduates who had college internship programs interrupted or canceled due to Covid-19 will have an opportunity to apply classroom knowledge by participating in the FPA Virtual Externship program from June 1 to July 30. The FPA Virtual Externship, developed in partnership with TD Ameritrade Institutional, is an eight-week virtual program led by practitioner mentors that will help aspiring planners gain insights into the practice and planning philosophies of multiple firms. Participants who are working toward, or planning to work toward, CFP® certification will receive 160 hours toward the Standard Pathway for CFP Board's Experience Requirement. The externship program is free for FPA members. Learn more and register today.
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Above all, don't fear difficult moments. The best comes from them.
Rita Levi-Montalcini,
neurobiologist, Nobel Prize winner
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About FPA
The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) is the principal membership organization for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, educators, financial services professionals and students who are committed to elevating the profession that transforms lives through the power of financial planning. Through a collaborative effort to provide members with professional education, business support, advocacy and community, FPA advances financial planning practitioners through every phase of their careers, from novice to master to leader of the profession. Learn more about FPA at OneFPA.org and follow on Twitter at twitter.com/fpassociation.
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