The contraction in the variable annuity market may be on the way to reversing, thanks to the consumer interest in simpler variable annuities, writes American College's Jamie Hopkins. He looks at the potential benefits of variable annuities in a retirement plan, including growth potential, downside protection and guaranteed income riders.
Dan Caplinger reviews the issues clients should consider when deciding whether to take a pension payout as an annuity or a lump-sum distribution, as well as the pros and cons of each.
A survey by Schwab Independent Branch Services of advisors with at least seven years of experience found that they were generally optimistic about the future and found their careers fulfilling, but were attracted to the idea of greater independence. Among the group, 76% said they believed limited autonomy and a lack of support had limited their success.
Bills introduced in the House and Senate would exempt small advisory firms from having to hire an auditing firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board for their annual audits. Advisors say the current law is costly to comply with and was designed for larger companies that have much more complex dealings.
A recent study shows older generations could transfer up to $30 trillion to heirs in coming years, but roughly two-thirds of advisors do not have a transfer plan in place for those assets, writes InvestingChannel's Bob Verrico. To capitalize on this market, Verrico suggests focusing "discussions on how to best educate clients' heirs to differentiate from other advisors, while creating a business model that is subtly unique and ensures the maintenance of the relationship."
New-client onboarding in the digital era needs to be "quick, inexpensive and easy," writes Michael Dignam of Broadridge Financial Solutions, who contends that a firm that requires clients to come by the office to open an account will be left behind. The digital onboarding process can provide an opportunity for advisors to develop a relationship before it has officially begun, as well as offer the potential for in-depth data integration, he writes.
Conventional wisdom states asset allocation should follow a "glide path," in which investments grow more conservative closer to retirement, writes investment manager Ben Strubel. But he argues that this advice "ignores the historical return patterns of the market and what investors' true timelines are."
Employees who have defined-contribution plans need to address financial issues and determine retirement needs before they can maximize retirement savings, experts said at the 2018 PlanSponsor National Conference. Employees need help becoming financially literate and should establish an emergency fund because many do not have sufficient savings to cover unexpected expenses, said Alvin Shaver of Southeastern Freight Lines.
Your attitude, motivation and success will all benefit when you believe in yourself as an adviser, writes Daniel Finley of Advisor Solutions. Getting clarity on your beliefs about your business, analyzing your belief system and then reinforcing it will help you pave the way for a brighter future, he adds.
There are several estate-planning lessons advisors can learn from the controversy surrounding 95-year-old Marvel creator Stan Lee's $50 million estate, which is reportedly the target of financial predators. Experts say helping clients consolidate financial accounts, place assets in a revocable trust and carefully choose responsible trustees can help prevent elder abuse.
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