New Industry Tools That Could Change the Way You Do Business

Times have changed for financial advisors. The advent of new technology has made it possible for independent advisors and smaller houses to compete with larger firms, and for larger firms to have a global reach. Keeping up with that technology can be a challenge — but it’s vital for any financial advisor who wants to stay competitive. Today’s clients want savvy, responsive financial advisors who are comfortable with technology. Fortunately, new industry tools are easy to use and integrate to provide top-level customer service and performance. “You don’t have a shot if you’re not organized,” says Jason Lara, director of sales and strategy at Ebix. Here are some new industry tools that can change the way you do business. Client Management Being able to manage your clients through scheduling and CRM platforms, as well as provide them excellent advice through market research tools, are among the biggest benefits of using …

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Tips for Handling Petty Squabbles Between Employees

It’s a fact of life: Some people just don’t get along. And that’s OK unless petty disagreements or personality clashes crop up at work and threaten teamwork and productivity. You can’t make people like each other, but you can help them handle their differences and get on with doing their jobs. Here’s how. Set Expectations If your organization prides itself on its culture, employees may have a distorted idea of how they should feel about each other as people. Explain to employees that no one expects them to become bosom buddies with their co-workers, says Dana Smith, president and CEO of HR outsourcing firm Exalt Resources. It’s great when team members genuinely enjoy each other’s company, but employers’ minimum expectation should be that employees treat each other with respect and dignity. “This can be achieved, even if you don’t particularly like another person’s style or disagree with their mode of …

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Does Your Company Offer Competitive Paid Leave?

Most U.S. employers aren’t required to offer their employees paid leave, but many do and this year they’re offering more. According to a recent Employee Benefits research report by the Society for Human Resource Management, more U.S. employers are offering paid leave benefits. For example, compared to previous years, more employers are offering: Paid sick leave plans Paid parental leave Paid vacation time Paid personal days As these numbers change, it’s important to review your own leave policies to ensure your offerings are competitive. Offering less paid leave than other companies in your industry or geographic area will make it harder for you to attract and maintain top talent. Top Paid Benefits According to the SHRM survey, the top paid leave benefit is paid holidays, which are offered by 98 percent of respondents. Other popular paid leave benefits include: Paid bereavement leave, offered by 86 percent of respondents. Paid jury duty …

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What’s Next for Trump’s Tax Reform Plan

Tax reform took on new urgency for the Trump administration after it was unable to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA or Obamacare), but disagreements that persist between the president and GOP leaders in Congress have put any action in doubt for now. The Senate has passed a budget plan, but no specifics regarding tax reform have been worked out yet, leaving the issue’s fate uncertain. For advisors and consumers alike, this means a wait-and-see situation. “Don’t overreact or make any reactionary plans based off of something that isn’t law, but make sure you’re aware of the changes that are being proposed,” says Garrett Oakley, a certified financial planner at Betterment, an investment adviser. Here’s what could be in store on tax reform. Fewer Tax Brackets While most experts agree that the number of tax brackets is likely to be reduced, it’s unclear what …

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