The 2018 Software Survey, an extensive tech-data dive conducted by Advisor Perspectives, Joel Bruckenstein (T3), and Bob Veres (Inside Information), starts with an examination of the market share of more than 300 software programs and web-based services, broken down into 13 different categories, including all-in-one programs, trading/rebalancing tools, financial planning, and CRM tools. The number of software/services that scored 7.0 or higher (scale of 1 to 10) by users “suggests that advisors today are generally satisfied with the functionality and feature set of their tech tools,” writes Veres in a column at Advisor Perspectives. See a link to the full story below. Also, financial planner Dave Grant, in a column at Financial Planning, shares his struggles to come up with the most appropriate pricing model for his practice, noting that his pricing and service model evolved more than five times over a span of five years. Going through some pricing iterations is fine, he writes, but there’s a need for “some deliberate design based on the future desired clientele.” Read the full story below.
The Tech Landscape: Results of the 2018 Technology Survey
by Bob Veres
Source: Advisor Perspectives
The 2018 Software Survey, conducted by Advisor Perspectives, Joel Bruckenstein at T3, and my firm, Inside Information, offered by far the most comprehensive data on the advisor tech landscape ever collected. In all, we received 1,554 useable responses, representing firms very small to very large, across a broad spectrum of experience in the business.
Voices: Why is pricing so hard for new RIAs?
By Dave Grant
Source: Financial Planning
The biggest change in my practice since I opened in 2013 is pricing. And it’s not just me – most new RIA owners have gone through at least one pricing iteration. But why is pricing (and service models) so hard to figure out?
Before making the move from a current firm to a new one, determine whether it will meet the needs you have on your “wish list” and be a good fit for you, writes Trent Gain, COO of The Independent Grid, in a column at InvestmentNews. He outlines several areas to investigate, including ownership structure, firm size, compliance track record, and proprietary product mandates. See the full story below. Also, attracting new talent continues to be a top concern for those in the financial planning industry. Financial Planning talked with several industry leaders at a recent LINC conference to determine ways to overcome this issue. One suggestion: Attract advisors with new and creative tech options. See the column below.
Don’t sell your soul for a large transition package
By Trent Gain
In the 16th century book, Faust sells his soul to the devil, Mephistopheles, in exchange for 24 hours of tutelage in black magic. It was a decision he would later regret. As a financial adviser in today’s world, you may be “tempted” with very attractive offers to move your practice from your current home to another firm. But before accepting any offers, consider the following so you may avoid the fate of Faust.
Voices: The secret to attracting new planners
By Chelsea Emery
Source: Financial Planning
Hollie Fagan could have cited any number of problems when I asked about the biggest worry for the planning industry. I didn’t expect this to be at the top of her list: “We’re not attracting talent.” Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised. There are now more CFPs over 70 than under 30, according to the CFP Board, and the percentage of women hasn’t budged since 2007.
Advisors with clients who have lost a spouse take note: A new audit by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General finds that 82% of widows and widowers entitled to a spouse’s benefits are being underpaid because the Social Security Administration didn’t inform them on how to maximize benefits, reports Financial Advisor. Based on a sampling of 50 beneficiaries, “we estimate 11,123 would have been eligible for a higher monthly benefit amount had they delayed their retirement application for their own benefits until age 70,” the OIG report states. See the details below. Also, taking on the role of caregiver comes at a financial toll, and it’s still women who largely take on the responsibility. That was some of the key information imparted by Cynthia Hutchins, director of financial gerontology at Merrill Lynch during a recent event sponsored by MFS Investment Management and Redbook. Hutchins says that women who leave the workforce give up about $324,000, but men give up just $284,000 on average, according to an article at WealthManagement.com. See the full story below.
Social Security Underpaying Widowed Spouses, Report Finds
By Tracey Longo
Source: Financial Advisor
A full 82% of widows and widowers entitled to spousal benefits are being underpaid, according to findings in a new audit undertaken by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The problem? The agency has failed to tell widowed spouses they can claim survivor benefits while still delaying their own benefits until age 70. Advisors with clients who have lost a spouse will want to take particular note.
The Financial Effect of Being the Family Caregiver
By Diana Britton
Many clients have to leave the workforce at some point in their careers—whether it be to care for a child, a disabled family member, an injured or ailing spouse or an aging parent. And while that caregiver’s role is starting to even out between males and females among millennials (at around 50 percent male to 50 percent female), for the most part it’s still women who take on the responsibility, said Cynthia Hutchins, director of financial gerontology at Merrill Lynch.