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Exiting broker protocol may not be good move for industry

November 11, 2017

Two weeks ago, Morgan Stanley kicked over what could be the first domino in a sweeping shift away from broker protocol policies, and the financial services industry is still trying to figure out what it all means. From Morgan Stanley's perspective,...

Tax reform: Advisers will have plenty to digest as legislation works its way through Congress

November 5, 2017

And we're off. The starting pistol has been fired in the race to get a tax-reform bill to President Donald J. Trump before the year ends. Financial advisers should keep a close eye on changes made to the proposed tax bill put forth last Thursday...

It's time to speak up about sexual harassment in the workplace

October 28, 2017

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, tens of thousands of women — and some men — have started sharing their stories of sexual abuse and harassment under the #metoo hashtag. Men account for 84.3% of the financial adviser community,...

Rushed tax reform would cause more harm than a delay

October 21, 2017

Time is running out for Congress to propose and pass a well-thought-out tax​ reform bill that includes a tax cut, and that's not a bad thing. The House of Representatives is scheduled to adjourn for the year on Dec. 15 and the Senate on Dec....

Advice firms need to invest in training and staff development

October 14, 2017

It's no secret that the advice business is having trouble finding new talent to replace retiring advisers, but a new study from Mopedia shows just how much that is hurting the financial health of advisory firms. Because firms can't hire...

Data breaches ratchet up risks for financial advisory firms

October 7, 2017

Financial advisory​ firms of all kinds have received fair warning that they must strengthen their data security and client identity protocols. The warning came in the form of the revelation of the huge Equifax cybersecurity breach, the Securities...

Trump's tax blueprint opaque on fate of deferrals for retirement savings

September 30, 2017

A faint cheer​ could be heard all over the nation from financial advisers who structure their businesses as pass-through entities when the Republican tax-reform framework was released last Wednesday. For the highest-income advisers, it would...

Do you really want states to take the lead on fiduciary?

September 23, 2017

The Trump​ administration's proposed delay in the implementation of key parts of the Labor Department's fiduciary rule, and possible elimination of them, has opened a can of worms for the financial services industry. Those segments of the...

Special needs planning experts crave help from generalist peers

September 16, 2017

"I have the best job in the world," says Scott Adams, a financial adviser and founder of the Special Needs Planning Center. If Mr. Adams gets such satisfaction helping special needs families plan for their financial futures, why aren't more...

Harvey and Irma — Reminders that advisory firms need solid continuity plans

September 9, 2017

According to one​ version of Murphy's law, nature always finds the hidden flaw. No doubt Hurricane Harvey uncovered the hidden flaws in the emergency plans of many companies, including financial advice firms, in the Houston and Beaumont areas...

Action must be taken to make Finra more accountable

September 2, 2017

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.'s mission is to protect investors from fraud and bad practices. It does this by writing and enforcing rules and regulations governing the nation's 3,700 broker-dealers and the 631,000 brokers...

Making the most of another delay in the DOL's fiduciary rule

August 20, 2017

After seven long years of argument and comment, one would expect that the Labor Department's fiduciary rule would be a done deal, and would now be going into full effect. Alas, no. While the DOL has allowed parts of the rule to go into effect,...

Financial advice industry has a role in opioid crisis

August 5, 2017

A growing number of clients — and their families — are at risk of financial ruin. It is time for financial advisers to open their eyes to the corpse-littered wasteland that defines the national opioid crisis, and take steps to keep clients...

Understanding algorithms is key to gauging robo fiduciary status

July 22, 2017

Subtle biases in,​ subtly biased advice out — could that be a hidden problem with some robo-advice programs? And if so, can regulators identify it? As reported in the June 30 issue of Mopedia, a recent academic paper suggests the...

Health-insurance reform uncertainty hampers advisers' ability to counsel to clients

July 8, 2017

The failure of congressional Republicans to pass a health-insurance reform bill to replace the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act has complicated the lives of financial planners and investment advisers in many ways. The most obvious...

CFP Board proposal another signal fiduciary is the future

June 24, 2017

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. added its voice to the fiduciary debate last week. In a proposed update to its code of ethics and standards released last week, the board broadened its application of when CFP professionals...

Assessing the future of the financial advice industry

June 17, 2017

Let's look into our crystal ball for a moment to see what the future holds for the financial advice industry. A couple of coinciding projects at Mopedia encourage us to do so now, with the benefit of crowd-sourced knowledge from some...

Time is now to prepare clients for a stock market correction

June 10, 2017

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the old adage goes, and now is the time for advisers to be taking steps to prevent client angst or panic when the market correction comes. No one can time the next market correction, but many...

DOL fiduciary rule should be improved, not scrapped

June 3, 2017

For better or worse, the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule goes into effect on Friday. Starting that day, any broker or financial adviser offering advice on retirement savings accounts must put the clients' interests first. While we support...

DOL Fiduciary Rule: Acosta makes it clear that revisions are coming ​

May 27, 2017

We​ were​ pleased to read Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta's emphasis on sticking to the rule of law when it comes to deregulation in his Wall Street Journal op-ed last Monday. Though his decision not to further delay the June 9 initial...

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