The Financial Planning Channel

The Biggest Trends in Family Wealth

Family wealth has emerged as the financial-industry topic of this decade, akin to what estate planning was in the ‘70s, investment planning in the ‘80s, financial planning in the ‘90s, and wealth management in the ‘00s. Today family wealth advisors serve 35,000 households that all together account for more than $5 trillion in assets.

The Full Results from our Software Survey

The 2017 Software Survey, co-sponsored by Advisor Perspectives, Inside Information and the T3 conference, is available. On behalf of the sponsors, I want to thank the 1,064 professionals who participated. What did we learn?

Will Trump Budget Lead to a Government Shutdown?

Earlier this week, President Trump issued a proposed government budget for FY2018 calling for the largest reduction in domestic program spending since the aftermath of World War II.

Is the U.S. Workforce Nearing Full Recovery?

We've updated our monthly workforce analysis to include last week's Employment Report for February. The unemployment rate ticked down from 4.8% to 4.7%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) was surprised forecasts at 235K.

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 $18,453 for an annualized real return of 12.32%.

Robo-Advisors vs. Human Advisors: Which Provides the Services That People Most Want?

While robos can help simplify processes, human relationships are key to satisfaction, says one investment survey.

Cracking the Code on Social Security Benefits

If you're like most working people, you've probably received a statement in the mail from the Social Security Administration listing your potential future benefits. Trying to figure out how Social Security arrived at those mysterious figures requires some detective work. Here, Gail Buckner, CFP, our personal retirement and financial planning strategist, attempts to crack the code. She discusses how your benefit is calculated and offers some strategies on how to maximize it.

Psychology of Retirement Income Satisfaction

Recent research on the psychology of spending reveals a new perspective in the psychology of retirement income satisfaction.

ACA Replacement and Market Reaction

Earlier this week, the Republicans issued their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). As the Republican plan became public, I joined the CNBC Nightly Business Report to discuss the plan and how the markets are likely to react.

The Consequences of Overestimating Retirement Expenses

Research has shown that individual and household spending declines in real-dollar terms upon and following retirement. Yet most financial advisors still use traditional retirement planning approaches that target constant real-dollar spending for the client’s planning period.

A Warning to the Advisory Profession: DALBAR’s Math is Wrong

DALBAR’s method for calculating average investor returns unfairly understates these returns. DALBAR does not properly calculate an internal rate-of-return for an ongoing series of cash flows, which renders its results meaningless. DALBAR’s response to this article is also provided.

The World Can’t Afford to Retire

Today, with populations aging, the challenge of fulfilling retirement expectations is an immensely expensive problem.

How Charitable Giving May Help Prepare Clients for Tax Reform

Tax reform is currently high on the list of priorities in Washington. It is unclear exactly how new legislation will unfold, but estate taxes and itemized deductions, including charitable deductions are all on the table. So it may be prudent for clients to maximize charitable deductions this year when the current tax policy is still intact.

January Real Median Household Income: Little Change from December at $58,056

The Sentier Research median household income data for January, released yesterday, came in at $58,056. The nominal median grew by $185 month-over-month and is up only $875 year-over-year. In percentages, the latest month is up 0.3% MoM and up 1.5% YoY. Adjusted for inflation, the latest month shrank $133 MoM and was down $579 YoY. The real numbers equate to changes of -0.2% MoM and -1.0% YoY.

Were Fama and French Right about Value and Size? An Ex-Post Test

Fama and French’s 1992 seminal research, which identified the value and size factors, was met with skepticism. Even the authors questioned the underlying economic rationale for their findings. With a quarter century of data, let’s look back and see if the skepticism was justified. Have value and small-cap outperformed?