May 24, 2016Are Beneficial Ownership AML Rules an Implementation Nightmare?
Last week the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released new rules which mean advisors need to identify not only their clients for anti-money laundering purposes, but also anyone who is a "beneficial owner" or influencer of any legal entity represented – like trusts or private companies. The rule applies to new accounts and the implementation period starts in July, ending in May 2018. But how easy will this new AML function be to perform?
Easy. It's the sort of info you'd collect anyway. And if you don't, you should.38% Hard. This will mean extra probing, discomfort and paperwork. The client mightn't even have this info.
May 17, 2016What's the Deal with Charles Schwab's Franchise?
Charles Schwab's ambitious indie franchising initiative is approaching its fifth anniversary. Do you think:
It's an innovative solution that is bound to catch fire in coming years.48% The strategy puts too much risk in the hands of indie owners and won't take off.33% It fits into Schwab's long-term plan to expand its brand, if given enough time.
May 10, 2016Are Prepackaged Model Portfolios Better Than Customized Allocations?
New Cerulli research argues that home office prepackaged model portfolios have been more popular with investors over a five-year period than customized advisor portfolios. Cerulli says prepackaged products are less tactical but have a stronger emphasis on risk-adjusted returns and consistent styles of investing. Cerulli also believes advisors are sometimes over-influenced by their clients. Are prepackaged products better than the allocations advisors come up with themselves?
No. Pre-packaged products don't account for the individual's circumstances.51% Yes. The client's better served if you find the right pre-made portfolio, rather than trying to build it yourself.
May 3, 2016Does Selling Loans Help or Hinder Your Overall Proposition?
Goldman Sachs is encouraging third-party advisors to sell its loans. Do these sorts of extra product offerings help you to serve your clients better?
Yes. I find that the more financial service options I have for my clients the better.42% No. These types of offerings create conflicts.
April 26, 2016Are Sole Practitioners Fading into the Sunset?
Research firm Cerulli Associates says solo FAs are getting thinner on the ground. Do you see this trend continuing?
Yes. Though there will always be mavericks, scaling up has become vital to survival due to rising costs.53% No. Automation and outsourcing empower those who still want to work alone.
April 19, 2016Do Your Clients Understand What a Fiduciary Is?
With all the publicity surrounding the release of the Department of Labor's new fiduciary rule, how much does the public really understand about the concept of a fiduciary?
Yes – My clients have always understood the term because I explained it to them4% Yes – They haven't missed the media explosion over the new DOL rule80% No – They still don't really grasp the idea
April 12, 2016Is the DOL Rule All You Thought It Would Be?
To the extent you can tell at this early stage, how did the Department of Labor’s new client-first rule for retirement accounts mesh with your expectations?
Less of a big deal than I imagined.6% Harsher than I thought.37% About what I expected.
April 5, 2016What’s More Important to the Industry, Robos or DOL Reform?
The Department of Labor’s attempt to impose fiduciary standards on all retirement-account advisors and the advance of automated investment advice technologies get a lot of ink around here. Which do you think is the bigger story? Tell us why in the comments.
Robos79% DOL's fiduciary rule
March 29, 2016Which Candidate’s Presidency Would Be Best for Advisors?
Whose administration would be best for economic growth, national stability and regulation of the financial industry?
Hillary Clinton16% Ted Cruz34% John Kasich4% Bernie Sanders20% Donald Trump
March 8, 2016Do you use a committee structure to make investment decisions?
Independent RIAs aren't required to use investment committees for decision-making. But committees can provide evidence of more robust decisions. Do you have an investment committee?