What’s Next for Dodd-Frank?

The Treasury Department recently issued a proposal outlining changes to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Dodd-Frank regulations were put into place after the 2008 financial crisis, and they changed existing regulatory structures in an attempt to streamline and strengthen them. The law led to stronger regulatory standards and rules about a wide range of financial interactions, such as credit card transaction fees and requiring smaller investment advisers to register with the SEC. The act established sweeping new regulatory rules but came to be seen as too heavy-handed. The House of Representatives recently passed the Financial CHOICE Act in an effort to weaken it, but passage by the Senate isn’t a given. “Many Democrats acknowledge that Dodd-Frank needs to be revisited, and Republicans certainly have enough votes to make sure that it is, but not enough votes to gut it completely,” says David Reiss, a professor at …

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6 of the Latest & Greatest SmartOffice Changes

SmartOffice has just released its first update for 2017. In a new video, Director of Product Management, Bryan Eshelbrenner, has highlighted 6 of the latest and greatest changes SmartOffice users can take advantage of. Here’s a look at the changes: Hi, I’m Bryan Eschelbrenner from Ebix here to go over some of the highlights in SmartOffice 2017 Release 1 available [now]. 1. Ever go to add a customer in SmartOffice, only to find out you’re out of available fields? Well, try again now. We’ve added 20 fields or more to every data type on every custom field object in SmartOffice. As always you can add these fields to your page layouts, you can add them as columns to your reports and they’re available as merge codes on your letter templates. 2. For those of you who bounce back and forth between SmartOffice Anywhere and SmartOffice Pro, it can be frustrating …

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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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What the Fed’s Move Means for Annuities

What the Fed’s Move Means for Annuities

In a signal of confidence in the strength of the economy, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in the middle of March to a range between 0.75% and 1%. This move is a sign that the economy is expected to continue to grow, albeit slowly, and that inflation is at an acceptable level of close to 2%. As a result, experts say annuities brokers should be ready for greater interest from consumers who want to save. “An increase in interest rates will definitely increase the interest in annuities,” says Lou Cannataro, senior partner at Cannataro Park Avenue Financial. Investors are searching for safe ways to grow capital, he says, and many have reverted to high-dividend-paying stocks without giving proper analysis to the amount of risk in such portfolios. Read on to learn more about what higher interest rates mean for the economy overall and annuities in particular. Subdued Inflation — …

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