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RIA Central Digests – 5-16-2011

This week’s RIA News Digest provides sources for news and information that will keep you updated on recent proposals related to the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as an “overlooked” practice option for breakaways and tips on how to de-stress. Take a look at some of the key attributes of top assistants, and read up on retirement plan statistics. This material, from a wide range of respected sources in the financial services industry, will help you stay in the loop on current financial news and provide strategies aimed at helping you grow and streamline your practice.  



SEC Publishes Notice Regarding Inflation Indexing of Performance Fee Rule
Source: Securities and Exchange Commission website

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission provided public notice of its plan to raise certain dollar thresholds that would need to be met before investment advisers can charge their clients performance fees. The changes are intended to satisfy requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act. The commission is also proposing to remove the value of one’s private residence from the rule’s net worth standard. Read the SEC news release here:




Breakaways/Aspiring RIAs

The Overlooked Option for Breakaways: Tucking-In
by Frank Pizzichillo
Source: RIABiz

While most breakaways consider establishing their own RIAs or joining an independent broker-dealer, a growing number are looking within the already existing RIA community for a firm to join as a tuck-in. According to Pizzichillo, this option appears to be gaining more traction as the RIA business model evolves and matures. This article discusses the advantages and provides some success stories.




Client Management

Spending More Time With Clients Helps Advisors De-Stress
by Marc Zeitoun
Source: Advisor One

Maybe you already knew this — or felt it — but it turns out that dispensing financial advice is regularly cited as being among the most stressful occupations. According to Zeitoun, probably the biggest source of anxiety for a financial advisor is the potential for losing money for a client. This column outlines ways that advisors communicate with clients. It also discusses ways to de-stress.




Retirement Plans

Average 401(k) Balances Reach Highest Level, Fidelity Says
by Bloomberg News
Source: FA News

Average balances of 401(k) retirement plans reached the highest level since Fidelity Investments began tracking account values in 1998. The average account balance in the U.S. rose to $74,900 as of March 31, an increase of almost 12 percent from last year, according to a recent Fidelity report. According to a Fidelity spokesperson, another positive indicator was that more participants were increasing deferrals versus decreasing them.




Practice Management

7 Key Attributes of Top Assistants
by Matt Oechsli
Source: Registered Rep


From a study conducted by Oechsli Institute that examined advisor-assistant relationships, the author uncovers seven key attributes that advisors want to see in their assistants. Among those traits: Attention to detail, a positive attitude and ability to solve problems effectively.




Investment Strategies

Advisers: Treasuries Out, Emerging Markets In
by LaVonne Kuykendall
Source: Investment News

Financial advisers plan to dump Treasury bills and fixed-income investments from their clients’ portfolios this year in favor of equities, according to a recent survey by Aberdeen Asset Management Inc. Forty-six percent of respondents said they plan to increase allocations to U.S. equities and 38 percent planned to boost exposure to emerging market equities. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they will cut holdings in Treasuries, while only 4 percent plan to add more. A total of 805 financial advisers were surveyed.




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