FINRA Rules Take Effect to Protect Seniors & Vulnerable Adults from Exploitation

Financial abuse of seniors is devastating to those who should be enjoying their golden years. A 2015 report by True Link Financial says seniors lose more than $36 billion a year to financial abuse, and the financial industry has been looking for ways to address the privacy and safety concerns of older investors. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a self-governing private body, issued a rule to help that went into effect in early February. “The bottom line for this new rule is to install safeguards to either prevent potential financial exploitation or stop ongoing exploitation of impaired seniors,” says Clifford Caplan, a certified financial planner at Neponset Valley Financial Partners. With widespread reports of huge amounts of funds being siphoned off from unsuspecting investors’ accounts, FINRA has finally stepped in establish a mechanism and procedure to stop this abuse, he says. Here’s what you need to know about the new …

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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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What the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule Means for Financial Professionals Now

What the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule Means for Financial Professionals Now

The U.S. Labor Department’s so-called fiduciary rule has a long history, and it appears it’s not over. Proposed under the Obama administration, the rule would change the status of some financial professionals under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). It was originally supposed to be phased in in April but has been delayed until June, with a transition period for some exemptions extending through Jan. 1, 2018. In addition, the Trump administration may want to make more changes. For financial professionals, it’s vital to stay up-to-date on the changes. “Good faith is not enough,” says Ronald Surz, president of PPCA. Here’s what financial advisers, especially those who work on commission, need to know. It Establishes Broader Fiduciary Responsibility Under the rule, all financial professionals who work with retirement plans, ESOPs, IRAs and so on, or who provide advice about retirement plans, will have to act in a fiduciary capacity. …

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It Pays to Educate Yourself About Retirement Savings

It Pays to Educate Yourself About Retirement Savings

When it comes to saving for retirement, you are your own best guide and advocate. Only you know what you want your retirement to look like, so you have to take responsibility for saving the money you need to make it happen just as you envision. A University of Michigan study found the average 401(k) account has one trade every four years, which researchers dubbed “inattentive” management. “The difference between a well-invested account and one that’s not can be substantial, as much as 2% or more per year according to some studies,” says Celia Rafalko, a financial planner and CEO of Piedmont Independent Fiduciaries. If you want to accumulate enough money by the time you’re ready to quit working, you need to educate yourself about retirement savings and avoid falling into a pattern of inattentive management. Consider tapping these sources of information. Your HR Department Your company’s human resources team …

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What President Trump’s DOL Action Means for the Advisor

What President Trump’s DOL Action Means for the Advisor

There’s been a lot of confusion in the past few days about the fate of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Fiduciary Rule. It was widely reported on Friday that President Trump would be signing an order to delay the rule for six months pending further investigation. However when the order was finally issued on Friday afternoon things changed once again, so let’s get to the bottom of things. Only one order was signed (not two as originally expected) which had no specific reference to the Fiduciary Rule. Instead, President Trump has directed the Secretary of the Treasury to conduct a 120-day review of all laws and regulations related to the financial industry. The President also signed a memorandum on the Fiduciary Rule which although doesn’t specifically call for any delay in the ruling does call for a substantial review. According to Section 1 of the memorandum, “You [DOL] are directed …

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