November 1, 2016Is Wells Fargo's Retail Banking Scandal Hurting its FAs?
In September, Wells Fargo was fined $190 million following revelations that thousands of its retail branch employees opened two million fake credit and deposit accounts without the customers’ knowledge under a cross-selling culture allegedly run amok. Has this retail banking scandal hurt the institution's in-house and network financial advisory businesses?
Yes. This is an issue of trust that affects the whole brand.12% No. Clients understand that the advisory businesses are seperate.
October 25, 2016What's your Biggest Cybersecurity Fear?
New research from the Financial Planning Association shows that 81% of advisors consider cybersecurity a high priority, but many don't understand the risks or how to neutralize threats. Meantime, your employees, not your tech, might be your biggest problem. So what concerns you most?
Employees taking data they shouldn't.68% Hackers infiltrating our network.
October 18, 2016Fiduciary Rule Compliance: How Ready Are You?
In just six months FAs advising on retirement savings must be able to comply with the Department of Labor's new fiduciary rule. How ready are you for the April 2017 start date? In the comments section, let us know your greatest concerns.
I'm confident we'll make it. We've already made considerable progress.30% I don't think we'll make it, but we have a year to iron out the creases before enforcement begins in 2018.
October 4, 2016Are You Talking Political Outcomes with your Clients?
As the presidential election draws near it's likely to be on the front of many clients' minds. But talking politics can be tricky. Are you talking to clients about potential POTUS election outcomes?
Yes. We're making plans for various potential scenarios and outcomes.67% No. Politics is a minefield that doesn't impact long-term investing anyway.
September 27, 2016After the First Debate, Clinton or Trump?
Monday marked the first time the two presidential nominees shared the stage to present their views for the country. Based on their performance, who do you think would be the better president for financial advisors and investors? Explain your reasoning in the comments section below.
Hillary Clinton49% Donald Trump
September 20, 2016What's the Better Client Advice Method – The Team Approach or the Personal Touch?
More and more advisors are choosing to work in teams with their clients. Some research indicates 55% of advisors work in some kind of team-based arrangement. But what do you prefer? The strength of the group or the personal touch?
Teams: More professionals on the account is more brain power and better decisions for the client.47% One-on-one: It's more personal and better for relationship-building and trust.
September 13, 2016Are Marketing Restrictions Too Tight?
RIAs are currently banned from using testimonials and past recommendations in their advertising. But a new bill – if it survives a presidential veto – could change that. Do testimonials and past recommendations have a place in advisor marketing?
Yes. It's ridiculous that you can't publicize the good things your clients say about you.35% No. Just like past performance is no indicator of future success, it's inappropriate to publicize testimonials and recommendations.
September 6, 2016Are 401(k) suits a red flag for your clients?
Legal action by employees in financial services aren't new, but suits claiming a lack of transparency and fund choices are on an upswing these days. For advisors, can this latest wave of retirement plan complaints be seen as:
An opportunity to help educate clients about the importance of saving for their golden years and build stronger relationships.44% Another blemish on the industry that can only cast financial planning in a darker shadow with American investors.17% Neither positive nor negative. Rather, for a good FA it's just another headline that's more noise than substance.
August 30, 2016State-Run Retirement Plans for Private Sector Workers?
The Obama administration wants to make it easier for states and municipalities to offer retirement savings plans to private sector employees, as several jurisdictions have said they would like to. Do you think that’s a good idea?
Yes. It will make investing more popular and benefit the whole advice industry over time.84% No. Governments are bad at running public-sector programs, and it will put undue pressure on fees.
August 23, 2016Are Brokers More Corrupt Than RIA-Based Advisors?
The infamous swindler Bernard Madoff ran a brokerage and an RIA. And news reports seem to feature as many fiduciaries as brokers in the legal hotseat for bilking clients. So is one set of advisors more trustworthy than another?
Yes. The fiduciary standard under which RIAs operate makes their advisors more honest.70% No. Fraud creeps in at the margins of both major advice channels, as in any profession.