The Financial Planning Channel

My Journey toward a Better, Simpler Fiduciary Rule

I have no problem whatsoever with the intent of the DOL fiduciary rule (may it rest in peace). But I was dismayed with the rule’s final form. In fact, I believe that the DOL’s voluminous tome can be distilled to a single sentence.

What Do the Recent SEC Robo Guidelines Mean for Advisors?

New SEC guidance provides effective ways for advisors to comply with disclosure regulations.

Don’t be Misled by Studies on the Value Advisors Add

A recently released report assessed the value of an advisor to be approximately 4.08% a year. This should have been encouraging news to beleaguered advisors coping with a rapidly changing competitive environment. It had the opposite effect on me.

Plan Sponsors: What Might You Learn from the $20B Club?

Are you using the whole pension toolbox? See what large plan sponsors are up to in this latest blog post from Bob Collie.

What the All-Knowing Advisor Doesn’t Know

Many advisors feel the need to project an image of total confidence. They answer questions about investing and financial planning with no hint of doubt. But they overlook the virtues of humility, especially when it comes to questions outside their areas of expertise.

Rising Rates and the Impact on Investment Advice

Since the early 1980s, bond investors have benefitted from declining interest rates. But we may be turning to a future of rising rates and clients suffering bond losses. Advisors need to be prepared both in terms of investment strategy recommendations and communication with clients.

Angst in America, Part 4: Disappearing Pensions

Today, in what will be the first of at least two and possibly more letters focusing on pensions, we’ll begin to examine that angst in more detail. The mounting problems of US and European pension systems are massive on a scale that is nearly incomprehensible.

Real Advisor

Advisor Tammy Wener of RW Financial Planning in Lincolnshire, IL, shares the story of a 'poster child' client for how to retire successfully.

Is the U.S. Workforce Nearing Full Recovery?

We've updated our monthly workforce analysis to include last week's Employment Report for March. The unemployment rate ticked down from 4.7% to 4.5%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) disappointed forecasts at 98K.

The Power of Self-Reflection

If you ask financial advisors – as I have – what’s truly important to them, their personal goals and dreams, and what makes them genuinely happy, they get uncomfortable.

Market Reaction to a Government Shutdown

In our update last month, we noted that the federal government could shut down on April 29 for lack of Congressional funding, a development that might have market consequences.

The Latest Look at the Total Return Roller Coaster

Here's an interesting set of charts that will especially resonate with those of us who follow economic and market cycles. Imagine that five years ago you invested $10,000 in the S&P 500. How much would it be worth today, with dividends reinvested but adjusted for inflation? The purchasing power of your investment has increased to $18,387 for an annualized real return of 12.24%.

How Real Estate Can Fit in a Client’s Charitable Giving Plan

Contributing non-cash assets to charity can be a smarter way for clients to support the causes they care about. In addition to publicly traded stock, IPO shares and restricted stock, clients can donate real estate assets to charity to maximize their philanthropic impact and minimize taxes.

Is Time Segmentation a Superior Strategy?

Is time segmentation a superior investment strategy for retirees relative to total-return investing?

Are You a Queen Bee? Do You Have Queen Bee Clients?

One of the advisors with whom I work has a number of clients who are strong women who are leaders among their group of friends or colleagues. I describe them as “queen bees.”