RIA Central Digests for 04/23/2014

Practice Management

 

If you don’t feel in control of your time and business, you can take some solace in knowing that you aren’t alone. According to a study by the Financial Planning Association, less than half of advisors feel somewhat or completely in control. The biggest obstacle? Trying to do too much. Read more results in a story at ThinkAdvisor. Also, the news about Vanguard Group’s new Person Advisor Services, a model that provides a financial plan, asset allocation and ongoing monitoring, plus access to a financial advisor for a low fee on assets held, has prompted a lot of industry discussion. In an article at InvestmentNews, reaction is mixed, but not all advisors view it as a threat. In his blog post at Nerd’s Eye View, Michael Kitces compares the new service with “robo” and human advisors. He notes that the model has the power to alter the landscape of the financial planning marketplace.

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Support Financial Literacy in Your Community

April is National Financial Literacy Month. As a financial advisor you are in a prime position to help create a more informed populace.

 

Los Angeles-area business coach Sarano Kelley, who works with top teams in the financial services industry, is spearheading an ambitious plan to promote financial literacy in the nation’s high schools. He aims to recruit 30,000 volunteers, including celebrities, financial professionals and athletes, to donate a few hours each year to teach young students important financial concepts. (Full disclosure: I am working with Sarano on some of his financial literacy projects.)

 

To become part of Sarano’s all-volunteer team, visit the Standing Up for Financial Literacy website, register, and get involved. The goal is to have the volunteers in the schools starting in 2015, and reaching the target of 30,000 volunteers by the year 2020.

 

The need for financial education is critical. Last year a Securities and Exchange Commission study found that most U.S. retail investors lack basic financial literacy.
 
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RIA Central Digests for 04/22/2014

Sales & Marketing

 

Whether you’re sending an email or making a phone call, be sure that your messages aren’t “fluffy.” That is, be concise and get to the point. Securities America business consultant Chris Kirby, in a column at Financial Planning, offers a list of guidelines to help you master the art of email and explains when a phone call might be a better choice. Also at Financial Planning, financial advisor Scott Hanson explains how getting involved in a nonprofit organization can benefit you personally and professionally. He describes the three levels of commitment, from 1) simply writing a check, to 2) contributing money and volunteering your time and expertise, to 3) providing money, time, AND sponsoring a fundraising event. Read the details in his blog post, below.

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RIA Central Digests for 04/17/2014

Regulatory/Compliance

 

Finra some time ago dropped its push to become the self-regulatory organization for registered investment advisors, but not everyone is convinced that the regulator has given up the plan entirely. InvestmentNews has more on the story. Also, a new study suggests that a fiduciary rule for financial professionals offering retirement advice could lead to cashouts of $20 billion to $32 billion a year by workers who are unsure of how to handle their plans after leaving their jobs. See the story below at Financial Planning.

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RIA Central Digests for 04/16/2014

Practice Management

 

Advisors who focus on a client’s financial goals can actually improve that client’s behavior and help provide them with a “personal North Star” to guide them in tough times. Daniel Crosby, a behavioral financial expert, writes about the benefits of a goals-based approach in a column at InvestmentNews. Also, the robo-advisor platform Betterment will soon be available to advisors in the form of Betterment Institutional. According to Brook Southall’s story at RIABiz, “Betterment Institutional … is a distinct entity from Betterment and has its own value proposition but with a heavy borrowing of the technology and — needless to say — the Betterment brand.” A link to the article follows.

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Get Organized with the Ultimate Checklist

Is life getting away from you? Maybe you’ve noticed that you spend an inordinate amount of time looking for things: receipts, phone numbers, or files. Maybe you’ve been neglecting your personal health routines due to running out of energy at the end of the day.

 

As a registered investment advisor, you’re constantly bombarded with demands on your time, energy and expertise. You’re constantly striving to find the balance between pursuing new business opportunities and hitting a wall of crazy.

 

To meet daily demands, you need your own house in order. You need to be organized. And that’s where the Ultimate Checklist can help.

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RIA Central Digests for 04/15/2014

Sales & Marketing

 

If you think millennials are a different breed from their parents, listen up. You’ve been misinformed. Research shows most millennials have investment values and approaches similar to their parents. A panel at SIFMA’s private wealth conference recently delved into this and other misperceptions about millennials. The story is at ThinkAdvisor. Also, the rise of social media has greatly altered the way professionals work with the media — and vice versa. BlaneWarrene, in a blog post at Wired Advisor, offers advice on establishing a media presence, finding media contacts on social media, and building rapport.

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RIA Central Digests for 04/10/2014

Regulatory/Compliance

 

Many hybrid advisors like the flexibility of being able to offer clients a wide variety of investment products and services, but the dual registration puts them under increased scrutiny by regulators. Customer confusion over the difference between RIAs and brokers is one of the key concerns of the SEC. An article at Financial Planning magazine gives a thorough overview of the issue. Also, an IRA expert says advisors should warn their clients to stop IRA-to-IRA rollovers immediately, in light of a recent tax court ruling. ThinkAdvisor interviews Ed Slott about the ruling.

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RIA Central Digests for 04/09/2014

Practice Management

 

Attempts on the part of financial professionals to educate investors on prudent decision making “have proved to be futile,” according to an upcoming Dalbar report. The study recommends four best practices for financial professionals. Read more in a story at ThinkAdvisor. In addition, a PriceMetrix study reveals some worries for advisors: charges for fee-based accounts are on the decline, and firms are retaining slightly few clients than in 2013. Read the details in a story at InvestmentNews, below.

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The New Challenge In Training The Next Generation Of Financial Planners

By Michael Kitces
Source: Nerd’s Eye View blog

 

In the early days of financial planning, most “advisors” were ultimately insurance or investment salespeople, who evolved their skillsets and their practices over time to become financial planners. Accordingly, the education of financial planners was focused in adult education certificate programs, “learning” financial planning was about how to transition clients – and potentially the business model itself – from being focused on products, to advice instead.

 

Read the rest of the story…