Inflation, Your Retirement & Purchasing Power

You hear it all the time: you should make sure your retirement savings at least keep pace with inflation. But what is inflation and how does it really affect your retirement savings? Let’s explore. In simple terms, inflation is defined as an increase in the general level of prices for goods and services. Deflation, on the other hand, is defined as a decrease in the general level of prices for goods and services. If inflation is high, at say 10% – as it was in the 1970s – then a loaf of bread that costs $1 this year will cost $1.10 the next year. Inflation in the United States has averaged around 3.29% from 1914 until 2016, but it reached an all-time high of 23.70% in June 1920 and a record low of -15.80% in June 1921. Most will remember the high inflation rates of the 70s and early 80s …

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Things All Financial Advisors Should Keep In Mind

Money management can seem pretty straightforward — customers set goals, and financial advisors help them meet those goals. But things aren’t always so simple. Emotions, family situations and the client’s financial standing can pose challenges for financial advisors if they’re not prepared. “Every individual is unique, and makes decisions about investing and wealth management influenced by their emotional makeup,” says wealth management adviser Chris White. “Financial advisors need to understand the emotional factors that drive their clients’ behavior, and their attitudes about risk-taking and money management. If they do, they will be better able to fashion wealth management plans that are suited to an individual client’s personality, temperament and risk-tolerance.” Here are some things to keep in mind. Plan for a Solo Life, as Well as Marriage Married couples who start financial planning generally don’t give any consideration to the chance of divorce, even as a remote contingency, says registered …

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How Big Broker-Dealers Are Buying Small Broker-Dealers, and What That Means for the Advisor

The past few years have been a whirl for advisors at smaller broker-dealers. Consolidation in the industry is rampant — last year’s 138 mergers and acquisitions were a record, according to Echelon Partners, and were a 10 percent increase compared with 2015, which had also been a record year. “For owners of smaller broker-dealers, it provides a great opportunity to sell a business and earn an exit payout,” says Evan Tarver, investments editor at FitSmallBusiness.com, a New York City-based business service that provides advice to small businesses. “For the advisers employed by these broker-dealers, it might be negative as they may be losing their jobs.” Here’s the latest on M&As among broker-dealers. What’s Inspiring These Acquisitions? In many cases, the U.S. Labor Department’s proposed fiduciary rule and the corresponding increased cost of doing business has been inspiring smaller and independent broker-dealers to look for other options, experts say. While parts …

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What Does the Future Hold for the Fiduciary Rule?

The U.S. Labor Department’s so-called fiduciary rule, proposed during the Obama administration, would change the status of some financial professionals under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). It was originally supposed to be implemented in phases earlier this year but ran into delays and reviews. Now, Rep. Ann Wagner, a Republican from Missouri, has introduced a bill that would make some changes to the latest ruling, including giving the Securities and Exchange Commission the lead on fiduciary regulation, in place of the DOL. “The fiduciary rule in its current form renders all investment professionals who work with retirement plans or advise retirement plans [as] fiduciaries under the ERISA definition,” says Raphael Katz, a partner at the law firm Sadowski Katz. This results in a strict standard against self-dealing, he says — but that could change. Here’s what you need to know. The Proposed Change Wagner and financial industry proponents …

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