Signs That It's Time to Call a Couples Financial Therapist
There are almost always ways to make things work financially between a couple. Sometimes a skilled financial planner has enough tools to accomplish this. Sometimes financial therapy is necessary. Fortunately, there are financial therapists that specialize in couples.
Failing to Make a Will: A Final Act of Unkindness
We've made it to the middle of January, that time of year that is the graveyard for so many New Year's resolutions. Even if you abandon any other resolutions you may have made, please carry out a very important one: Make a will.
U.S. Workforce: December 2021 Update
We've updated our monthly workforce analysis to include the latest Employment Report for December. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) came in at 199K.
Investment Advice is not Financial Planning
Investment advice is not financial planning. This is an important distinction to understand when someone goes shopping for financial advice. Do they only need help with investment decisions, or do they need guidance on all aspects of their financial life?
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 $20,551 for an annualized real return of 14.49%.
Avoid These Failed Adventures in Sales Training
Don’t pay big bucks to “branding experts,” using manipulative sales techniques, or rely on the questionable advice offered by “referral experts” or those who tell you to sell differently based on the personality type of the prospect.
The Ticking TAMP Timebomb
Soon – within the next two years – the SEC will wake up and start holding financial advisors who use TAMPs to the same fiduciary standards they hold them to in selecting mutual funds, ETFs, and other investment products. When it does, many advisors will be in trouble.
A Revolt Against PE-Led Annuity Issuers
A Pittsburgh insurance broker and a Richmond, Virginia forensic accountant have developed an alternative rating system for measuring the ability of life/annuity companies to keep their promises even in market crises. They call it the transparency, surplus and riskier assets ratio, or “TSR” for short.
The Key Trends in the Retirement Income Industry
Research from the Alliance for Lifetime Income shows that individuals’ concerns about financing their retirement increased during the pandemic. Eighty percent of American pre-retirees are at least somewhat anxious that their savings may not provide them enough to live on in retirement.
Four Ways to Philanthropic Impact
Don’t let the rush of the holidays deter you from engaging with clients on one of the most important financial planning topics—charitable giving. This article offers four ways advisors can deepen client relationships and help clients expand the impact of their philanthropy.
The Advisor's Guide to Advanced Financial Planning Strategies for High-Net-Worth Clients
High-net-worth clients can play an integral role in the profitability of your advisory practice. Are you prepared to meet their multifaceted financial planning needs? Follow this guide for a walkthrough of advanced wealth management strategies, including estate planning, special needs care planning, asset protection, and charitable giving.
Don’t Fear the Meter: The Inescapable Future for the Hourly Revenue Model
Is it possible that, as the planning profession matures, all planners will eventually follow the same path that every other profession has followed, and charge on an hourly basis for the advice they give – like lawyers, tax professionals and accountants?
How to Improve Outcomes When Using a Time Segmentation “Bucket” Strategy
Time segmentation seems to be a more planful approach for creating a retirement income stream than simply taking three to four percent withdrawals from a portfolio of equities and fixed income (or higher if you read Bill Bengen’s recent article in this publication).
Are You Ready for Marketing to Get Harder in 2022?
Here are three reasons marketing will get harder for financial advisors next year and beyond. Yet the situation isn’t hopeless. You can adopt strategies that make your marketing easier even with the changes on the horizon.
Counting Calories Helps Your Retirement Account, Too
Before those celebrating Thanksgiving reach for a second slice of pecan pie, they should consider this: A 55-year-old woman with Type 2 diabetes will pay an average of $3,470 more a year in medical-related expenses, or close to $160,000 in total, than if she didn't have the disease.
How To Supercharge Your Practice with Surge Meetings (Part 1)
I share my three-step process for how I used surge meetings to turn my chaotic practice around and triple our revenue in three years. Step 1 is in this article, and steps 2 and 3 will be published tomorrow.
How to Create a Memorable Client Experience
One advisor whom I coach uses a color-coded checklist with every client to track which areas of a financial plan have been completed and which tasks are pending. It’s a brilliant way to shift a client’s attention from portfolio performance to the larger, more important elements that make up a holistic financial plan.
Should You Heed the Wall Street Journal’s Warning About the 4% Rule?
The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article revisiting an old retirement income rule of thumb. “The 4% Retirement Rule is in Doubt. Will Your Nest Egg Last? A well-established strategy for funding our golden years is no longer foolproof. Retirees need to get creative.”
Gray Divorce and Co-Habitation
The majority of the wealth in the U.S. is controlled by baby boomers. However, two rising trends in this dominant demographic are creating complications, not only for boomers and their advisors, but also for the children of boomers who constitute an increasingly vital current and future client group.
Investors and Advisors Are Compelled to Consider the Hard Economic Realities Facing the Financial Markets
As investors and financial advisors approach the end of 2021 and consider their annual recalibration of portfolio mix for the coming year, they would be prudent to factor in some difficult economic realities that can no longer be ignored–that will alter stock and bond performance into and well past 2022.
A Sample Five-Paragraph Holiday Letter
This is the time when you are preparing an end-of-year/holiday letter for your clients. Unfortunately, fewer than 1% of them are going to derive any meaning from it. Use this template to create a holiday letter with some pizzazz.
A Prospect’s Wake-Up Call Happens on Their Timeframe, Not Yours
You can educate prospects and show them results. but they won’t act until they want to. This won’t happen until they envision a future that’s harder to stomach than their current, comfortable reality.
Building Your Ideal Practice
The idea that growth and success can be achieved at the expense of clients, diluting the value they receive rather than deepen it, is a myth. If you follow the 10 shifts in this article, you will deliver deep value to clients and run an excellent practice that allows you to enjoy the ride and the rewards.
Kevin Keller and Tom Sporkin on the CFP Board’s Response to the WSJ Article
I attended the annual NAPFA conference a couple of week ago, which was held in Boston, where I live. One of the most important sessions featured Kevin Keller, and he spoke about the initiatives and priorities of the CFP Board. Kevin is here today, along with Tom Sporkin, to talk about those initiatives. We’ll also talk about the steps the CFP Board took following an article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal a little more than two years ago. That article cited some problems with the monitoring of infractions by advisors.
Why Retirement Risk Requires Dynamic Planning
Retirement planning is complex and risk in retirement is real. To improve the confidence clients have in working with an advisor, you need to prepare them for changes in retirement and avoid the talk of probability of failure and success. Ongoing adjustment-based planning aligns clients’ perceptions of risk in retirement with reality. This often results in small course corrections with many retirees finding they can spend more than originally planned. My guest, Justin Fitzpatrick, is here to discuss new research and technology that helps advisors paint a more realistic picture of what retirement could look like and guides clients through retirement more successfully.
How Dynamic, Tax-Smart Distributions Maximize Retirement Income
While an individual is working, taxes are primarily determined by their salary with only minor control by an advisor. However, once they transition into retirement, their advisor becomes a tax conductor, orchestrating timing and sourcing of cash flows and disbursals to maximize their safe, post-tax spending.
Higher Interest: Debt Influences Demand for Secure Retirement Income
It’s well-studied that factors like debt and financial uncertainty impact the way people feel about retirement and prepare for it. In this series, BlackRock explores insights from our 2021 DC Pulse research and additional work with the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) to recognize inequities and help find ways to build a better retirement for all.
Unique Ways to Make Planning a Core Offering
Advisors must embrace financial planning as a core service. It gives them an edge against competition, provides a diversified revenue source and deepens their relationships with clients. But there is no universal process for planning, and my guest today, Justin Duft, will discuss how advisors need to customize their approach to fit their client base. He will also highlight how his firm, Commonwealth Financial Network, has embraced planning and how it supports its advisors.
Advanced Tax Planning Under the Biden Proposals
The end of the year is approaching, and time is running out for 2021 tax planning. Compounding the problem is the uncertainty around taxes. Pandemic, massive spending proposals and a record high level of debt have created an impasse in Washington and increased levels of anxiety among wealthy clients. Over the last year, the Biden administration and Congress have proposed several unprecedented changes to taxes that would impact investing for affluent clients. With the specter of tax reform and the end of the year on the horizon, my guest today, Ryan Bertrand, is here to provide guidance for financial advisors.
For DC Plan Participants, Solving for Retirement Income Is a Challenge
After decades of saving for a comfortable retirement, plan participants eventually face the question of how to create an income stream from those savings. Most aren’t sure how to do that, even though income is the main reason they’re saving in the first place...
Billionaire Tax Proposal Sets Ultra-Rich on the Hunt for Ways to Avoid It
Democrats’ proposal for a tax on billionaires is already spurring questions about how the sweeping new levy would be implemented and how America’s wealthiest -- and their sophisticated advisers -- can get around it.
Median Household Income by State: 2020 Update
The median US income in 2020 was $67,521, up from $22,415 in 1984 — a 201% rise over the 36-year time frame. However, if we adjust for inflation chained in 2020 dollars, the 1984 median is $51,742, and the increase drops to 27%.