January 15, 2021
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Top News
Financial advisors generally are not optimistic that the US economy will fully reopen in 2021, according to an InvestmentNews Research survey. The survey found that 44% of advisors expect a full reopening of the economy, and 28% see a full resumption of in-person work and business travel.
Full Story: InvestmentNews (tiered subscription model) (1/11) 
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Optimizing Your Remote Business Processes
The global pandemic has shifted much of the world's workforce into a remote setting, but the need to collaborate within - and between - teams remains. Cloud content tools have become a significant solution, but which features and benefits are most needed at this time? This infographic provides insight into what makes a strong collaboration tool
Policy Watch
The Small Business Administration says it has forgiven more than $100 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans to 1.1 million borrowers.
Full Story: Reuters (1/12) 
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President-elect Joe Biden says he will ask Congress to act swiftly to provide $1.9 trillion in immediate relief to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The package includes aid to states and cities, additional unemployment benefits, larger direct payments to Americans and a minimum wage increase.
Full Story: Bloomberg (1/14),  The New York Times (1/15),  Reuters (1/15) 
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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that the central bank has no intention of tightening US monetary policy or paring back its bond-buying program any time soon. Powell said that now is "not the time" to think about ending central bank support for the economy given that inflation and employment are tracking below target.
Full Story: Reuters (1/14),  MarketWatch (tiered subscription model) (1/14),  Financial Times (subscription required) (1/14) 
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Insights for wealth management leaders
Insights for wealth management leaders based on worldwide research pre- and post-pandemic. Learn more
Building Your Business
Financial advisors looking to thrive in 2021 will need to offer their clients holistic wealth advice, writes Scott Reddel of Accenture. Reddel discusses three emerging trends advisors can leverage.
Full Story: Financial Planning online (1/13) 
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Financial Products & Markets
Goldman Sachs expects the 10-year Treasury yield to reach 1.5%, rather than 1.3%, by year-end, citing "revived reflationary themes." Policy under the Biden administration "should translate into a greater fiscal impulse than under our previous divided government baseline," Goldman strategists say.
Full Story: Bloomberg (1/14) 
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Retirement Focus
About 30% of Americans have withdrawn money from a retirement account since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, while almost the same percentage said they have taken a retirement plan loan, according to a survey from Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and Personal Capital. Of those who withdrew money, roughly a third said they took out at least $75,000, while more than half of those taking out a loan tapped at least $50,000.
Full Story: ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (1/12) 
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While many people hope to retire in their 60s or even 50s, it may make sense to wait until age 70, Maurie Backman writes. Reasons include longer life expectancies, higher Social Security benefits and more time to save.
Full Story: The Motley Fool (1/10) 
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FSI Member News & Events
Healthcare for Advisors is (finally) here!
Independent financial advisors, their staff and their families can now access true group health insurance through leading insurance carriers for groups of two or more. Vision and dental also available. Go to our website for more details and to get a quote!
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.
Melinda Gates,
philanthropist, advocate for women and girls
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About FSI
FSI was formed in January 2004 as an advocacy and membership organization for independent financial services firms and independent financial advisors. We provide insight, information, influence, and involvement--all in support of our mission to provide visibility, credibility, and an improved regulatory environment for the independent channel. Learn more at financialservices.org
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