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Freddie Mac betting against struggling homeowners
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
AudioBrief Freddie Mac, a taxpayer-owned mortgage company, is supposed to make homeownership easier. One thing that makes owning a home more affordable is getting a cheaper mortgage. But Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won't be able to refinance their mortgages at today's lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica. These investments, while legal, raise concerns about a conflict of interest within Freddie Mac. More

401(k)s to overtake pensions as primary retirement vehicle in 2012
AdvisorOne    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the first time, in 2012, more people will be saving for retirement in 401(k)-type plans than in traditional pensions, and that means employees need better guidance from plan sponsors, State Street Global Advisors reported. "In 2012, defined contribution will surpass defined benefit as the predominant retirement vehicle globally, which is a real shift," said Kristi Mitchem, senior managing director and head of global defined contribution at State Street Global Advisors. More

Use philanthropy to win new business
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBrief Philanthropy can be an effective way to meet prospects and win new business if done right. Dow Jones Wealth Adviser's Veronica Dagher shares some tips on how advisors can do so. More

Working with an advisor changes Americans' retirement outlook
Financial Planning    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Retirement can be daunting, but having sound financial advice makes Americans feel like they have a better handle on it, according to a survey by Franklin Templeton. The retirement survey found that 66 percent of Americans who work with an advisor know how much of their retirement savings they will withdraw each year in retirement, compared with only 36 percent of those who have never received professional financial advice. And while 79 percent of Americans currently do not work with an advisor, nearly half said they would consider going to an advisor if that advisor prepared an income plan in writing. More

As population ages, disclosure forms become key
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As baby boomers age, advisors will increasingly face clients showing signs of diminished mental capacity. To avoid lawsuits or running afoul of securities regulations and state privacy laws, advisors need prior approval before sharing any financial information with a client's family or friends. The sometimes tricky issue is when to seek that authorization. More

When it comes to training, do you drag your feet?
LifeHealthPro    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In today's competitive sales world, dragging your feet can cost you money in lost sales opportunities — especially if your competitors are light and quick on their feet. Here are situations in which salespeople drag their feet and how this affects their sales. More

Integrating work flow for efficiency
InvestmentNews    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Everyone has heard the adage "work smarter, not harder." The challenge is finding ways to work smarter when you and your staff have your heads down and noses to the grindstone, and are up to your eyeballs in day-to-day activities. Working smarter includes developing processes to streamline daily or repetitive tasks. Taking the time to create an integrated work flow provides the opportunity to engineer the process — to step back and see what needs to be done, and then plan how to do it with greater efficiency. More

Long-term care costs up again
Advisor Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Costs continue to rise for those requiring long-term care in the U.S, according to a new MetLife Mature Market Institute survey. National average rates for a private nursing home room increased 4.4 percent to $239 daily or $87,235 annually, in 2011. Assisted living base rates rose by 5.6 percent to $3,477 monthly or $41,724 annually. Adult day services went up by 4.5 percent to $70 per day. Home health aides and homemaker/companion service rates were unchanged at $21 and $19 per hour, respectively. More
 

 
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