The Financial Planning Channel

New Tools to Prove You Acted as a Fiduciary

This article, the first of two parts, is a review of some of the more prominent new tools that advisors can lean on as they prepare for the full DOL rule implementation on April 10. Each of them addresses a different aspect of the rule, and they all approach it from different angles.

Developing an Effective Advisor Training Program

In a previous article, I wrote about the hiring process. Now that you have found a qualified candidate, how do you get her integrated into the team?

Form 5500 Gets a Makeover: What Does This Mean for Plan Sponsors?

On July 21, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed amendments to the 5500 series forms in a “Notice of Proposed Forms Revisions,” prepared jointly by three agencies: the DOL, the Internal Revenue Service and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, collectively referred to as “the agencies.”

Is the U.S. Workforce Nearing Full Recovery?

We've updated our monthly workforce analysis to include last week's Employment Report for December. The unemployment rate, as expected, ticked up from 4.6% to 4.7%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) was below forecast at 156K.

The Key Business Trends in the Advisory Business

There are several irrefutable facts that should be informing the strategies for leaders in financial services.

B.I.C.E.: Financial Advisors Beware

I question why any financial advisor would want to use B.I.C.E., given the likelihood of significant reputational damage that would result for the advisor.

The Search for Returns in a Low-Return Environment

3 rules that may help your clients navigate the low-return environment.

Most Americans Retire Too Early Despite Low Savings

We all know that there is a savings crisis in America. According to the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS), the median savings balance of near-retirement households is only around $12,000, while the median saving balance for all working-age households is only around $3,000.

How Much Do I Need To Retire?

Grappling with the question of how much is one of the toughest relating to pensions

Federal Debt Is Not Our Biggest Problem

Why do so many pundits and politicians, including the future director of the Office of Management and Budget, beat the debt drum so loudly and so often? It’s one of the most effective, and most abused, wedge issues in American politics.

The Top 10 Great Articles You Probably Missed

Great articles don’t always get the readership they deserve. Earlier this week we published the top 10 most-read investing and financial planning articles and a similar top 10 practice management articles. Below are another 10 that you might have missed, but I believe merit reading.

Real Median Household Income: Slow Growth in 2016

The Sentier Research median household income data for November, released this morning, came in at $58,221. The nominal median was up $292 month-over-month and $1,397 year-over-year. In percentages, the October number is up 0.5% MoM and 2.5% YoY. Adjusted for inflation, the latest income was up $176 MoM but only $432 YoY. The real numbers equate to changes of 0.3% MoM and 0.7% YoY.

New Developments Imperil Your AUM Fee Model

Some recent publications from SEI, Fidelity and Schwab highlight the urgency with which advisors must confront the fiduciary aspects of the fee model they use.

The 10 Most Read Practice Management Articles for 2016

As is our custom, we conclude the year by reflecting on the 10 most-read articles over the past 12 months. The list below reflects articles focused on practice management.

The 10 Most Read Articles for 2016

As is our custom, we conclude the year by reflecting on the 10 most-read articles over the past 12 months. The list below reflects articles focused on investing, financial planning and the economy. On Thursday, we will publish the 10 most-read articles on practice management.