Survey: Advisors with most assets use options more
U.S. financial advisors are trading more options and those with the most assets are "significantly" more likely to use the derivatives than peers with smaller amounts, according to the industry's first survey. "Advisors started to understand that they couldn't hide under their desks in 2009 and that they needed to start bringing more valuable ideas, and that started to open up the floodgates," Eric Cott, the Options Industry Council's director of financial-advisor education, said at a press conference at the OIC conference in Savannah, Ga. More
Report: Social Security trusts dwindle while retirees dependence increases
Financial Planning Share
A perfect storm combination of eroding Social Security trust funds, high unemployment and a flood of baby boomers all hitting retirement age at the same time will put enormous strain on the system for the next two decades, which will force retirees and their advisors to come up with alternative retirement income plans and strategies to make ends meet. More
Wealthy hesitate to take a break on estate taxes
The New York Times Share
President Barack Obama and the Republican Congress gave the wealthiest Americans an enormous gift at the end of 2010. They increased the exemption on a series of estate-related taxes and lowered the tax rate on any amount over those limits. The catch is it lasts only two years. But five months into the tax break, the people able to fully exploit it are more tentative than wealth advisors had expected. More
Health care premiums on the rise again
Despite the Obama administration's ambitious health care overhaul, insurance premiums are on the rise. The May medical index by consulting firm Milliman Inc. says health care costs for a family of four will rise 7.3 percent in 2011 to $19,393 for those insured through work, with employee out-of-pocket expenses up 9.2 percent this year versus 6.6 perent last year. "Trends in health care spending still far exceed most other goods and services," the index said. More
Agents view carrier consistency of product, price critical in relationship
Insurance Journal Share
Nearly half of independent insurance agents and brokers believe it is most important to their carrier relationships that companies are consistent in product and pricing in the marketplace, a new study co-sponsored by Insurance Journal shows. That consistency is the highest-ranked relationship attribute in the research — and it appears to have more value to independent agents than in the past. More
Fiduciary advocates make push for new rules
Advocates for imposing a universal fiduciary duty on anyone providing retail investment advice are stepping up their campaign to urge the SEC to move forward with a rule. House Financial Services Committee Republicans are using the majority status they obtained in last fall's elections to try to shape and slow down implementation of the massive Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Fiduciary advocates are worried that momentum for a fiduciary rule is being enervated. More
Spending more time with clients helps advisors de-stress
Dispensing financial advice, it turns out, has quite a bit in common with firefighting and air traffic control: They're all regularly cited as being among the most stressful occupations. Probably the biggest source of anxiety for a financial advisor is the potential for losing money for a client. Unfortunately, watching client accounts sink in value is exactly what happened to many advisors during the 2008 financial crisis, which many regard as the most stressful time of their career. More
The role of the broker in a post-health reform world
National Underwriter Share
The effect of health reform on brokers will be monumental. No other social policy change in recent memory has driven as much transformative change in the brokerage business model as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is predicted to. Producer participation has been intensely debated, and the value of the services they provide and their role in a post-reform individual and small-group insurance market hotly contested. More
'Regaining Clarity During Regulatory Instability'
Society of FSP Share
Register now for this June 1 program on new and proposed legal and regulatory issues affecting advisors along with ideas for maintaining compliance. The program is sponsored by MarketCounsel and features Daniel Bernstein, JD, and Alyssa Kolber, JD. Free to FSP members; $19.95 for nonmembers.
Take advantage of your free audio/Web conference
Society of FSP Share
FSP members are entitled to one free archived audio/Web conference each year. More than 20 programs are available for your continuing education on the FSP website. Visit free archived audio/Web conference.
FSP NewsBrief available through MultiBriefs app
Society of FSP Share
The Society of FSP understands the need to deliver timely, relevant news to its members. In partnering with MultiBriefs to create the FSP NewsBrief, the association committed itself to providing updates on a weekly basis. The FSP NewsBrief is also available on the MultiBriefs app, available for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch in the App Store. Simply search "MultiBriefs" and download the app free of charge. After it's downloaded, you may add the FSP feed. News is streamed into your iPhone or iPod Touch each week. Android phone users also may access the app by going to the Android Marketplace and searching "MultiBriefs" to access the Android version of the app.