Investors may lose as Congress saves money on advisor oversight
Congress may hand oversight of almost 12,000 investment advisors to Wall Street's self-funded regulator as a cost-saving measure. The price could be paid by investors. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, deputized by the government to oversee brokers, is lobbying to replace the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a regulator of registered investment advisors who manage about $40 trillion. More
Employee health plan enrollment falls, but may rise with health reform
Employer-sponsored insurance eroded “significantly” in the last decade, although federal health reform is expected to reverse the decline for small employers, two studies say. The percentage of nonelderly residents with ESI declined in 42 states, with 12 states experiencing declines of 10% or more. More
Debt ceiling talks turn to higher taxes
Any deal to raise the debt ceiling will have to include steep cuts to federal spending. But might it also include tax hikes? The dispute has brought out Washington's big guns. President Barack Obama has replaced Vice President Joe Biden as the principal Democratic negotiator, and Mitch McConnell, the top Senate Republican, is entering the fray. More
The new cash hoarders: Smart or not-so-smart?
Sick of next-to-nothing bond yields and wary of stocks, some advisors and money managers are hiding out in cash — a strategy they say cuts losses and builds up investing ammunition for later when better opportunities arise. But will the defensive move backfire? More
Study: Boomers favor guarantees over higher returns
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By nearly a 4 to 1 margin, baby boomers remain more attracted to guarantees for their retirement savings than to potential high returns with market risk, according to a new study. When asked which is more attractive, a financial product providing a 4 percent return that is guaranteed not to lose value or one with 8 percent return that is subject to market risk and loss of principal, 76 percent of respondents chose the guaranteed product, nearly identical to the 80 percent of respondents in 2010. More
Analysis: Bad old habits plague economic forecasting
Three years after the Great Recession ought to have challenged even the most basic assumptions made by economists, they have instead settled back into the costly habits of old. An analysis of Reuters polls shows economists were too optimistic about 20 out of 27 major monthly indicators for April and May in the United States, euro zone and Britain — a list that includes industrial output, jobs, business and consumer sentiment data, and purchasing managers' indexes. More
IRS finalizes shorter extensions for partnership, trust returns
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The Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations setting the period for automatic extension of partnership Forms 1065 and trust and estate Forms 1041 at five months, meaning that they will generally be due Sept. 15. This allows partners and beneficiaries enough time after receiving their Schedules K-1 to prepare their own extended individual or corporate income tax returns, generally due Oct. 15. The American Institute of CPAs has advocated for the Sept. 15 due date. More
Advisors use more visual tools with clients
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Appealing to the visual, emotional part of clients' brains can help clients better understand concepts surrounding money and better engage with their advisors. In fact, financial advisory firms and financial planners are increasingly using visual tools, including interactive games, drawings and video, to motivate and involve clients or attract new prospects. These tools often work better with clients than focusing on the quantitative aspects of planning or on selling a product, say advisors. More
Attention advisors: Financial help tops survey of 'distracted' Americans
If you thought discipline to follow through on long-term goals seems to be lacking in today's society, it seems you're correct. According to a new study, Americans were feeling the strain of keeping up with all the distractions of a fast-paced life, and it showed in their ability to work toward objectives. In a key finding for advisors, although people set more financial goals, they follow through less in that category than the others mentioned. More
FSP announces Premier Membership
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Beginning in July, Premier Membership, a new membership package, will be offered by the Society to all who meet membership eligibility requirements. It is a unique combination of dues and registration fees for select products, services and events. It is designed to offer convenience and savings for members who take frequent advantage of their membership benefits. Visit Premier Member for more information.
Audio/Web conference: 'Estate and Financial Planning for Individuals with $5 Million or Less'
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On July 13, Jonathan Blattmachr, JD, discusses techniques and strategies, such as "freezing" and transference of property, to protect assets and minimize or avoid estate taxes. Register at July 13 webinar.
FSP values your vote: Check FSP website for electronic ballot
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For the 2011 annual meeting, the voting process for officers and directors will be conducted electronically. Go to the FSP website. Here you will find the date and location of the annual meeting, the agenda, the biographies for the slate of candidates, including president-elect, secretary and five three-year directors. You will also find instructions for how to cast your proxy ballot electronically. All regular (including retired) members of FSP are authorized to vote. Ballots must be submitted by July 14 to be counted. Please cast your vote today.