The Fiduciary Rules Channel

Who Shall Rule the Planning Profession? Competition versus Consolidation

If there’s one topic that is guaranteed to stir up passions in the financial planning/advisory profession it’s consolidation of associations and credentials. Consider some of the issues that are being debated today.

A Curve in the Fiduciary Road: What the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals' Decision May Mean for Advisors

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision essentially wipes the Fiduciary Rule off the books. But, that doesn’t mean everything returns to the way it was before the Rule.

Performance Measurement: How to Do It If We Must

Assessing our portfolios’ performance is a necessary activity, but by being aware that measurement over shorter time horizons is dominated by noise, we can better resist the natural human instinct to “do something”—typically selling the underperforming investment at exactly the wrong time—if near-term performance falls below expectations.

Record-Breaking Contributions and Returns for $20 Billion Club

2017 was a record-breaking year for the $20 billion club—our name for the U.S. publicly-listed corporations with the largest pension liabilities—in at least five different ways. Contributions were double 2016 levels and nearly triple 2015 levels.

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Down 4K

This morning's seasonally adjusted 226K new claims, down 4K from the previous week's revised figure, was below the forecast of 230K. From the release: "The claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal."

The Ratio of Part-Time Employed: February 2018

Let's take a close look at Friday's employment report numbers on Full and Part-Time Employment. Buried near the bottom of Table A-9 of the government's Employment Situation Summary are the numbers for Full- and Part-Time Workers, with 35-or-more hours as the arbitrary divide between the two categories. The source is the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) of households. The focus is on total hours worked regardless of whether the hours are from a single or multiple jobs.

A Path Forward for the CFP Board

The CFP Board set out fiduciary duties for all advice. Its statements are clear and strong. This is an important step. But alone, it falls very short. Why?

A New Platform that Offers Insurance Products to Fee-Only Advisors

David Lau is the founder and CEO of DPL Financial Partners, a firm focused on the distribution of commission-free insurance products geared toward the RIA and fee-based advisor channel. In this interview, he discusses his suite of products and related services.

CFP Board Proposed Fiduciary Standards: A Good Small Step That Needs a Giant Leap

The CFP Board proposal on fiduciary duties are a good first step towards a fiduciary standard. Yet, they fall well short of basic fiduciary practices and, equally as important, what ordinary investors clearly want from an investment advisor or financial planner. Significant common sense revisions will align the CFP requirements with true fiduciary practices. Alternatively, the Board can realign its promise to the public to fit its current standards. Webinar attendees will learn:

  • Key areas where the proposed standards fall well short of fiduciary duties;
  • What independent research and experience say investors want in a fiduciary advisor;
  • Important revisions or fixes that CFP Board can make now to meet a fiduciary standard; and
  • How the CFP Board can realign its promise to meet current standards.

Newsletter - February 2018

Read the latest Evensky & Katz / Foldes Newsletter by Harold Evensky.

GMO Quarterly Letter

In a new quarterly letter to GMO's institutional clients, head of asset allocation Ben Inker considers the hypothetical question posed by chief investment strategist Jeremy Grantham in his third-quarter 2017 letter, "What should you do if you are tasked with managing Stalin's pension portfolio?" ("Don't Act Like Stalin! But maybe hire portfolio managers that do?").

U.S. Housing Finance Reform: Why Fix What Isn’t Broken?

The topic of housing finance reform has come in and out of focus on Capitol Hill since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs) were taken into conservatorship back in 2008.

Peak Hubris: Challenging Dalio and Grantham

In the past month, two well-known and highly respected money managers have made confident assertions about the markets. Their comments would lead one to believe that the future path of the market in the coming months is known.

The Surprises on the Well-Traveled Road to Independence

Hearing the latest reports on growing number of breakaways and the rise of the advisory business model would make you think that there is a sudden revolution in the industry. This couldn’t be further from reality.

Do the CFP Board and SEC Really Support Fiduciaries?

As a CFP and registered investment advisor, I’m bound by law to act as a fiduciary to my clients. Yet the CFP Board and SEC, overseers of the standards that guide fiduciary responsibility, aren’t always serving the investors they are intended to protect.