Firms need more than a document for true cybersecurity | Survey: Firms to spend more on cybersecurity in 2021 | Create a plan to customize communication with clients
December 1, 2020
FPA SmartBrief
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The boom in remote work prompted by the pandemic has resulted in new opportunities for hackers to steal data, and today's financial firms need more than a simple document to protect sensitive information, writes Vincent Guyaux, CISO at FCI. He emphasizes the need for an in-depth program, such as the one advisers can develop by taking advantage of Cybersecurity for Financial Planners: An FPA Certificate Program, which was created in conjunction with FCI.
Full Story: FPA Practice Management Blog (11/25) 
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Municipal Bonds: The State of the States
States face revenue shortfalls from COVID-19 costs and shutdowns. How are states with some of the highest levels of debt faring?
Practice Management
Nearly two-thirds of financial executives expect cybersecurity spending to increase next year, according to a survey by Deloitte. An earlier Deloitte survey shows cybersecurity spending has increased 15% this year, partly because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Full Story: Bloomberg (tiered subscription model) (11/24) 
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Firms and advisers looking to tailor client communication should start by creating a map of what they are currently doing, says David Mehlhorn of Redtail Technology. Customer relationship management systems can be a helpful tool in building a communication plan, suggests Melhorn.
Full Story: InvestmentNews (tiered subscription model) (11/24) 
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Employees and customers expect businesses to treat them with respect, to honor diversity and to champion causes that advance the common good, says S. Chris Edmonds in this video and blog post. "To remain competitive and to attract and retain top talent, companies must invest in their employees while enabling healthy work-life balance," he says.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (11/24) 
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It can be difficult for financial advisers to ask their good friends to become clients, writes Bryce Sanders, president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He offers three possible approaches advisers can use with friends, including treating them with professional respect and separating the friend and adviser roles.
Full Story: Financial Advisor online (11/24) 
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Policy Watch
A number of permanent and temporary law changes passed both before and during the coronavirus pandemic means financial planning will be different this year, writes Matthew J. Leonard, a director at Boston law firm Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster. Among the key change are the suspension of required minimum distributions for 2020, the increase in the age at which distributions must be taken and the ability of older workers to continue contributing to an IRA.
Full Story: Financial Advisor online (11/18) 
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The Securities and Exchange Commission was able to do nearly 3,000 examinations in the 2020 fiscal year despite the coronavirus pandemic, which included covering about 15% of all registered investment advisers, said Pete Driscoll, director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. The examinations found that most firms had business continuity plans they implemented, Driscoll said, and some even had specific plans to deal with pandemics.
Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (11/23) 
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Under Financial Industry Regulatory Authority rules, financial advisers generally would not be required to record client meetings held via videoconference, writes Alan J. Foxman Managing Director of Foreside Financial Group. However, if the adviser presents slides or other written materials during the conference, or if he or she uses the chat or instant messaging function, those are considered written communications and must be recorded, Foxman writes.
Full Story: Financial Planning online (11/25) 
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The Department of Labor's proposed "Improving Investment Advice for Workers & Retirees Exemption" rule has been sent to the White House's Office of Management and Budget. However, the rule may be too late to escape being shelved by the Biden administration.
Full Story: WealthManagement (11/25) 
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[Webinar] 3 Dimension for Safely Reopening
With news of vaccines coming soon, many companies are getting ready to reopen their workplaces and offices as quickly and safely as possible. Get expert advice on the most important factors to set your company up for what's next from this on-demand webinar. Watch on-demand
Industry Report
Most respondents to the 2020 Schroders Global Investor Survey are aware Social Security alone is not enough to meet financial needs, and 70% of respondents are saving at least 10% of annual income for retirement. The survey also shows half of respondents added high-risk investments during volatility in February and March.
Full Story: Pensions & Investments (free access for SmartBrief readers) (11/24) 
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Investment fees can have a big effect on the amount of money retirees can safely withdraw from their portfolios, writes Ryan McLean, founder of McLean uses two different investment portfolios to show how higher fees can greatly reduce safe withdrawal rates over 20-, 30- and 40-year horizons.
Full Story: Advisor Perspectives (11/19) 
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A Nationwide survey found that financial optimism has dropped sharply this year for both financial advisers and investors thanks to worries about the coronavirus pandemic, economic performance and the results of the presidential election. The survey found that only 36% of investors and 38% of advisers are optimistic this year, down from 55% and 50% last year.
Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (11/20) 
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The November Retirement Confidence Index from SimplyWise found that 53% of seniors and 47% of people overall have been targeted by a fake Social Security text, email or phone call in the past three months. The Social Security Administration said it does not make unsolicited calls, and any threats of arrest or promises to increase benefits for a fee are red flags that the communication is fake.
Full Story: CNBC (11/23) 
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FPA News
Joy to the World! FPA Introduces Two, New Certificate Programs
FPA has launched two, new certificate programs to help financial planners with philanthropic solutions and cybersecurity. In partnership with the American Heart Association, Philanthropic Solutions in Financial Planning, explores the benefits of charitable giving and how philanthropic opportunities can be designed to meet long-term client objectives. Developed with FCI, Cybersecurity for Financial Planners: An FPA Certificate Program, guides financial planners through a step-by-step process to establish a customized cybersecurity plan that ensures financial planners are adopting reliable security measures that safeguard client data and provide a record of the firm's cybersecurity practices. Participants will receive a digital certificate and earn CFP CE credits upon completion of each program. Register now.
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How to Build a Harley Davidson Practice: Ideas to WOW Your Clients
Join FPA guest speaker Teresa Riccobuono from to learn how to enhance your client relationships by gathering information, getting team members involved, discovering best practices, and implementing a strategy that works for you, your style, your budget and client interest. Get simple, inexpensive and thoughtful ideas to WOW your clients by participating in this FPA Knowledge Circle on Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. EST. Register now.
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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 and follow on Twitter at
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