The Financial Planning Channel

To Be (20)17 Again

Like much of 2017, politics remained keenly in focus at the end of the year. Tax reform took center stage in the U.S., and President Trump wrapped up this major legislative victory just in time for the holidays. The sweeping tax overhaul moved quickly through both chambers of Congress after the House and Senate drafted amended versions from the separate ones each had previously passed.

Branding Yourself: How to Create a Great Elevator Pitch

Advisors need a great elevator pitch – a calling card lasting only the length of time it takes to ride an elevator to the top of an average building, about 30 seconds.

Three Things I Wish I Knew as a Young Financial Advisor

I set out to be a financial advisor in my early 30s and getting started wasn’t pretty. Here’s my advice to my younger self about how to use youth as a marketing strength rather than as a detractor from your credibility.

U.S. Workforce Recovery

We've updated our monthly workforce analysis to include last week's Employment Report for December. The unemployment rate remained at 4.1%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) came in at 148K.

What Trends Will Shape 'Fintech' in 2018?

2017 was the year when financial technology, or “fintech,” made industry headlines. After such a year of change, what might 2018 bring? I highlight six trends I expect to see this year.

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.

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 $20,071 for an annualized real return of 14.02%.

The Powerful, Yet Seldom-Used Tool to Convert Prospects

Helping someone in ways other than reaching their financial goals is a powerful, yet seldom-used way to convert prospects to clients.

Biggest 2017 Advisor Marketing Screw Ups

If your 2017 marketing results didn’t generate the leads you wanted, you were probably guilty of some of the problems below. As you put together your marketing strategy for 2018, here’s how to avoid screwing up.

Global Markets: 10 Expectations for 2018

2017 was a positive year for the economy and capital markets. The global economy grew at a faster pace than in 2016, and risk assets also rose significantly.1 However, investors are wondering whether the current environment will continue through 2018.

Who'll Be Watching the Punch Bowl in 2018?

Weekly Market Review: Central banks are trying to chaperone the money supply without stifling growth, but uncertainty lies ahead.

The Ten Best Investing Articles You Probably Missed

Great articles don’t always get the readership they deserve. Below are another 10 investing-, economics- and financial planning-related articles that you might have missed, but I believe merit reading.

The Top 10 Most-Read Investment 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 investing, economics and financial planning.

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.

What It Means to Be a True Wealth Manager

The most successful wealth managers focus on all the types of wealth, not just what their Bloomberg terminals display. This often includes an assessment of a wide range of non-financial aspects of wealth, such as family relationships, jealousy, fairness, personalities, openness and many other factors.