529 college savings plans can pose a conundrum for advisors at RIAs because “advisor-sold” plans are built primarily for broker-dealers and “direct-sold” plans are geared to DIY investors, notes Michael Kitces in a post at his Nerd’s Eye View blog. Not surprising, that means 529 plans have had little growth in the RIA channel. Kitces suggests what’s needed is an “advisor-supported” 529 plan, build to address four key areas: reporting, trading, billing, and education and planning tools to help RIAs determine the best plan for a client. Read the details in his post below. Also, Fidelity Investments has released a new service called Fidelity Access, which allows customers to share their account information with third-party websites and applications that aggregate financial data. “Fidelity Access puts control of the data where it belongs: in the hands of the client,” writes Joel Bruckenstein in a post at his T3 Technology Hub website. He notes that the solution “both improves security and increases client control and transparency.” See the link below.
The Gap In Advisor-Supported 529 College Savings Plans For RIAs
By Michael Kitces
Source: Nerd’s Eye View blog
A longstanding challenge for independent RIAs has been finding a way to effectively and efficiently help their clients with 529 college savings plans – due primarily to the fact that “advisor-sold” 529 plans are actually built primarily for broker-dealers, while “direct-sold” plans aren’t meant to have any advisor involvement at all … and leaving advisors at RIAs stuck in between. As a result, there has been little growth of 529 plans in the RIA channel, and fiduciary advisors who would like to help their clients comprehensively manage their wealth have had few options to facilitate the implementation of 529 plans and manage them thereafter.
Fidelity Access: A Breakthrough in Account Aggregation
by Joel Bruckenstein
Source: T3 Technology Hub website
Fidelity Investments recently announced the release of Fidelity Access, a more secure, convenient way for clients to see and use their Fidelity account information, such as balances and holdings, on third-party websites and applications that aggregate financial information. Fidelity Access will benefit the clients of financial advisors, as well as retail investors who use financial planning, budgeting, portfolio, tax and other software that can accept data feeds. This new service is based on open technology standards, not proprietary technology. In short, Fidelity Access puts control of the data where it belongs: in the hands of the client.
RIAs that are looking to recruit new talent need to start their search on college campuses, according to a survey by TD Ameritrade Institutional. “To win, RIAs need to get out in front of the next generation on campus and make themselves seen,” Kate Healy, managing director, Generation Next at TD Ameritrade Institutional, said in a statement. Read the full story at Financial Advisor, below. Also, advisors who decide to change firms can minimize the anxiety involved in the transition by paying particular attention to moving the right clients first, checking for unmovable products, determining how to deliver new paperwork, getting help, and using social media to announce their move. Trent Gain of The Independent Grid provides the details in a column at ThinkAdvisor.
RIAs Must Compete To Recruit Top Undergrads
By Jadah Riley
Source: Financial Advisor
A lack of independent registered investment advisors on college campuses is keeping the profession from hiring top talent, according to college administrators of undergraduate financial planning programs surveyed by TD Ameritrade Institutional. Program directors say that increasing recruiting efforts at the undergraduate level among minorities and women will help alleviate shortages in the profession.
How to Retain Your Clients, and Your Sanity, When Switching Firms
By Trent Gain, COO, The Independent Grid
After careful consideration and due diligence, you’ve decided to change firms. Your excitement about moving may be tempered by what lies ahead — transitioning your practice. Whether you have undergone a transition previously or not, it’s safe to assume that most advisors view this as no small undertaking — and it’s not.
Even though sales of stand-alone long-term care insurance have been falling, combination products have seen growth over the past eight years, reports LIMRA. According to LIMRA data, overall sales increased 12 percent in 2016, an article at ThinkAdvisor reports. However, LIMRA estimates that less than 7 percent of consumers over age 50 have long-term care coverage. Read the details below. Also, a new survey by Schwab Retirement Plan Services shows that millennial workers are more confident in their investment decision making than older generations, but a majority — 80 percent — said they would like personalized 401(k) advice. Read more details from the survey in an article at ThinkAdvisor, below.
LTC Product Sales Rise 12%: LIMRA
By Allison Bell
Stand-alone long-term care insurance (LTCI) may continue to be in the doghouse, but overall sales increased 12% in 2016, according to data from LIMRA. LIMRA analysts report in a new commentary that premium revenue from new sales of three major categories of long-term care (LTC) planning products increased to $4.3 billion last year, from $3.8 billion in 2015.
80% of Millennials Want Professional 401(k) Advice: Schwab
By Michael S. Fischer
Millennial workers in a new survey were not only more confident making investment decisions on their own than were older generations, but were also very receptive to professional financial help, Schwab Retirement Plan Services reported recently.