The Fiduciary Rules Channel

An Alternative Explanation for Walmart’s Announced Employee Bonuses and Wage-Rate Increase

On January 11, Walmart announced that it was raising its starting wage rate to $11 an hour, giving a one-time bonus up to $1,000 to employees, expanding its parental/maternal leave policy and providing employees adopting a child up to $5,000 per child in fees associated with the adoption.

Productivity: A Question of Focus, Health, Politics & Money

Last week, I asked, “What would make 2018 more productive for you? Please email me the first thing that comes to your mind.” Before I summarize the responses, a big thank you to the 800+ people who sent me personalized responses. Someone pointed out that asking the question itself already helped because it motivated her to review her plans and targets.

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Up 11K, Worse Than Forecast

Today's seasonally adjusted 261K new claims, up 11K from last week, was worse than the Investing.com forecast of 246K. From the release: "Claims taking procedures continue to be disrupted in the Virgin Islands. Claims taking process in Puerto Rico has still not returned to normal."

The Ratio of Part-Time Employed: December 2017

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.

Five Buzzkills that Don’t Belong on Advisor Websites

This Christmas we had an ugly sweater party. In honor of that event here are the most unattractive things I consistently see on advisor websites. Just like the tacky sweater, let these five unbecoming blights collect dust instead of allowing them to appear on your website.

Truly Impactful New Year Resolutions for Advisors

Here are some reminders to add to your list of New Year’s resolutions. These are compiled from the thousands of inquiries I get via this column and in my consulting work every week of the year.

The Ten Best Practice-Management Articles You Probably Missed

Great articles don’t always get the readership they deserve. We’ve posted the 10 most-widely read practice-management articles for the past year. Below are another 10 that you might have missed, but I believe merit reading.

The Top 10 Most-Read Practice Management Articles of 2017

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.

TDFs: Reliable Outcomes Begin With Income Projections

Long viewed as a retirement savings vehicle, Target Date Funds (TDFs) are experiencing something of an identity crisis. For plan sponsors and participants alike, account balances are being eclipsed by income projections as a TDF’s key indicator of financial wellness in retirement says Glenn Dial, Head of Retirement Strategy in the US with Allianz Global Investors.

NewsLetter – December 2017

Harold Evensky's most recent Newsletter.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Plenty of Cross-Winds for Santa

The economic calendar is normal, but there are plenty of cross-currents from other major events. Bitcoin futures, the FOMC meeting, more debate on the tax legislation, the Alabama special Senate election, and an avalanche of 2018 forecasts.

Why Target-Date Funds are Out of Date

The following are some commonly asked questions and concerns I’ve heard from advisors about 401Ks, target-date funds and retirement.

2018 Outlook: Guard Against Real-World Inflation

The gradual reversal of expansionary monetary policies – at differing paces globally – will require some investors to adjust their approaches. Protecting purchasing power will remain a priority as official inflation understates real-world costs.

The Ambiguity of Tax Deferral

When you look at your 401(k) or 403(b) or rollover IRA, do you see a two-sleeve account, where you contributed about 80% and the federal government contributed about 20%? Or do you feel like the account contains only your money, with no help from your Uncle Sam?

Wade Pfau’s Important Book on Retirement Planning

Wade Pfau has written an important book: How Much Can I Spend in Retirement?: A Guide to Investment-Based Retirement Income Strategies. It should be read by not just financial planners, but also all investment advisors who work with individual accounts.