FINRA fielding questions on 529 self-reporting program | How depression can eat into retirement finances | University finds success in customizing retirement info by generation
May 17, 2019
NAIFA SmartBrief
News covering the insurance and financial advising industry
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FINRA fielding questions on 529 self-reporting program
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority says it has been getting a lot of questions about its new plan allowing self-reporting of potential violations of rules regarding 529 plan recommendations. Chris Kelly, FINRA's senior vice president of sales practice enforcement, told a panel at the agency's annual conference that self-reporting will not necessarily lead to an enforcement action.
Financial Planning online (5/16) 
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Industry News
How depression can eat into retirement finances
Those not mentally prepared for retirement may suddenly find themselves adrift when they no longer have work to do. And that, experts say, can lead to a series of health problems that in turn threaten financial well-being.
Reuters (5/14) 
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University finds success in customizing retirement info by generation
The University of Pittsburgh found its employee demographics covered five generations, so it adjusted its retirement benefits communications to be relevant to each group. Implementing messaging for each generation and their stage in the savings life cycle, along with embracing automatic enrollment, was associated with a more than 14% increase in overall retirement plan contributions and a 54% increase in sessions with financial consultants.
PlanSponsor online (5/14) 
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Investment Trends
SEC again postpones ruling on bitcoin ETF
The Securities and Exchange Commission has again delayed a decision on whether to approve the Bitwise Bitcoin exchange-traded fund and allow it to trade on NYSE Arca. The SEC has asked for public comment on 14 questions about the ETF request.
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (5/15) 
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Commentary: Index funds do not have anti-competitive effects
Claims that consumers are harmed by market concentration in index funds are unjustified, Barry Ritholtz writes. Index funds remain an important low-cost tool for Americans to invest their money, having saved investors about $1 trillion in fees.
Bloomberg (tiered subscription model) (5/14) 
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Policy Watch
Exec backs plan-sponsor safe harbor for annuity-provider selection
Joni Tibbetts, a Principal Financial Group vice president, spoke at a Senate Finance Committee hearing in favor of a provision of the updated Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act that provides a safe harbor for retirement plan sponsors when they select annuity providers. She said the safe harbor "establishes realistic options to follow when selecting an annuity provider."
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (5/15) 
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Fed's Brainard: Disappearance of labor-inflation link brings risk
The relationship between inflation and labor, as well as other resource markets, has broken down and could be problematic if the Federal Reserve cannot bring inflation closer to a 2% target, said Fed Governor Lael Brainard. Eventually, Americans could lose faith that inflation will ever meet the target, she said.
Reuters (5/16) 
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Building Your Business
Advisors talk about ways to combat burnout
Working less, carving out specific time to be unavailable to clients and delegating work you don't particularly like are ways advisors have found to combat burnout. "Burnout often happens when people repeat things that they don't enjoy," wealth manager Matthew Gaffey says.
Financial Planning online (5/10) 
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Where to focus social media efforts
Advisors strapped for time should focus their social media energy on LinkedIn, building their brand, posting about relevant topics and sending personal notes to people they'd like to connect with, consultant Beverly Flaxington writes. She also discusses how to deal with a colleague whose performance is not up to snuff.
Advisor Perspectives (5/8) 
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Commentary: The best way to give clients bad news
Giving bad news to clients is unpleasant but necessary, writes Carolyn McClanahan of Life Planning Partners. She recommends the SPIKES protocol, which was developed for doctors, and stands for setting, perception, invite, knowledge, emotions and summarize.
Financial Planning online (5/13) 
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Ethics for Insurance and Financial Professionals: Questions for Consideration and Discussion
Register for the May 29 NAIFA webinar featuring Robin Mueller. He will present this interactive discussion on ethics with a specific focus on ethics within the community of insurance and financial advisors. The webinar will start at 2 p.m. Eastern. Register here.
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Once we think we've arrived, it's the beginning of the end. Without being masochistic, we should always ask ourselves, what did we miss or do wrong?
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