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.
August 16, 2016Can ETFs Help Clients out of the 401k-Fee Quagmire?
Do you see ETFs as important alternatives to mutual funds in 401(k) plans?
No, they're still not ready for prime time yet as corporate retirement investment vehicles.80% Yes, they're a great low-cost innovation that plenty of DC platforms are using now.
August 10, 2016Is "AUA" in line with transparency and regulatory guidelines?
Some wealth firms stress "assets under advisement" or "assets under supervision." Are you OK with that?
Yes. It's perfectly appropriate and gives a better picture of the business than AUM alone.31% No. "Assets under management" is the only figure that matters, ethically and legally.
August 8, 2016How Central Is Behavioral Finance to Your Work?
According to Investopedia, behavioral finance “seeks to combine behavioral and cognitive psychological theory with conventional economics and finance to provide explanations for why people make irrational financial decisions” — like, in the classic example, buy what’s dear and sell what’s cheap. Do you use any of its tenets with your clients?
It’s a cornerstone.0% It’s utter nonsense.43% It’s something in between.
August 2, 2016Are Clients Interested in SRI and "Sustainable" Investments?
In new research from TIAA Global Asset Management, 95% of advisors say their clients have no exposure to socially responsible or "sustainable" investments, while around a third of high-net-worth investors say they do. And 87% of Millennials claim they'd stay with an advisor who could talk about the subject. So, why the apparent disconnect? Are your clients interested in SRI and sustainable strategies?
Yes: I talk about SRI with clients and some hold such investments.19% Yes: But given the performance, I find it difficult to justify recommending SRI.38% No: My clients have never really raised the issue much with me.