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    Department of Labor’s Advisor Crackdown Speeding Out of Control

    BenefitsPro article by Allen Greenberg (used with permission)

    Bruce Ashton thinks he has a pretty good idea why any retirement plan advisors might have failed to show up Wednesday for his presentation on the Department of Labor’s investigations of RIAs and broker-dealers.

    “They’ve either already gone through an investigation or they’re in la-la land,” Ashton said.

    It was meant as … Read More

    Market Turbulence Serves as Reminder to Tread Lightly

    NYT article by Tara Siegel Bernard

    The recent tremors in the stock and bond markets are unnerving — and may leave average investors feeling as if they should be doing something to protect themselves.

    But if any lesson should have been learned from the last recession, it was the importance of having a well-diversified portfolio and resisting the urge to … Read More

    Ebola is Spooking Wall Street

    CNN Money News article by Matt Egan

    The Ebola epidemic is starting to contaminate sentiment on Wall Street, which is already losing sleep over countless crises.

    The arrival of Ebola in the U.S. has coincided with a period of extreme turbulence in the stock market, which has tumbled about 8% from record highs.

    The deadly virus is clearly not the … Read More

    Mark Zuckerberg Is Giving $25 Million To Fight Ebola

    Forbes article by Luisa Kroll 

    Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced plans to donate $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation to help fight Ebola.

    “The Ebola epidemic is at a critical turning point. It has infected 8,400 people so far, but it is spreading very quickly and projections suggest it could infect 1 million people … Read More

    Robo Advisor Betterment Works With Fidelity in RIA Push

    CNBC.com article by Lawrence Delevingne

    If you can’t beat the robots, join them.

    That’s what Betterment—the ultra-low cost, computer-driven personal portfolio service—hopes financial professionals will do with its new institutionally focused “robo-advisor” offering. Launched Wednesday, Betterment Institutional lets registered investment advisors, or RIAs, use a product that is seen by some as a threat to their relatively expensive and outdated … Read More

    Before the Advice, Check Out the Adviser

    NYT article by Tara Siegel Bernardo

    When Elaine and Merlin Toffel, a retired couple in their 70s, needed help with their investments, they went to their local U.S. Bank branch. The tellers knew them by their first names. They were comfortable there.

    So when a teller suggested that they meet with the bank’s investment brokers, the Toffels made an appointment. … Read More

    The Crummey Trust: Not So Crummy

    Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog post by Gerry W. Beyer

    Traditionally, estate-planning trusts contained “Crummey” withdrawal powers to ensure that contributions qualify for the annual gift tax exclusion.  Today, the exclusion allows you to give up to $14,000 per year, and $28,000 for married couples, to any number of recipients.

    Although fewer people must worry about gift and estate … Read More

    A Shocking Statistical Look at Estate Planning [infographic]

    This graphic illustrates the current state of estate planning in the U.S.

    Created by The Virtual Attorney.

    SOURCE: http://thevirtualattorney.com/blog/shocking-statistical-look-estate-planning-infographic


     … Read More

    Webinar on Insurance Trusts

    Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog post by Gerry W. Beyer

    Wolters Kluwer, CCH is sponsoring a webinar entitled, Insurance Trusts: Practical Planning and Practice Development Ideas for Lots of Clients, Tuesday, October 28, 2014, at 2 pm Eastern. Provided below is a description of this webinar:

    Life insurance trusts have been a key component of estate and financial … Read More

    Abigail Johnson Succeeds Father as CEO of Fidelity Investments

    Abigail P. Johnson has been named CEO of Fidelity Investments, effective immediately.

    She replaces her father, Edward “Ned” Johnson, who will retire from the position but remain as chairman of the company. Ms. Johnson will retain her current role as president.

    Gerry McGraw, president of Fidelity Institutional, and Mike Wilens, president of Fidelity Enterprise Services, have been elected directors of … Read More


Bill Gross Continues To Cost Pimco Billions In Lost AUM

Love or hate the Bond King, any firm that lives by the star manager can only suffer once Gross turns into Grossgate. Institutions were already sick of the gossip, now the fast money has no reason to stay.

Three weeks after Bill Gross bailed on the fund complex he built, the flow of pension fund money out of Pimco keeps … Read More

Nate Silver Builds Democrats a Statistical Coffin and Markets a Lifeboat

Nervous investors of every political persuasion can take comfort knowing that the pollster Monte Carlo now strongly favors a Republican upset next month.

If the typical advisor had a crystal ball anywhere near as accurate as Nate Silver’s, everyone would have sold and gone away back in September. Instead, it’s been a volatile four weeks and it’s probably going to … Read More

George Clooney Takes $220 Million Plunge With No Prenup In Sight

His people vehemently deny all rumors of a pre-wedding division of marital property but choice of venue and residence may have left the notoriously divorce-leery star with few other options.

Once George Clooney announced he was actually getting married again, even the gossip channels naturally assumed it took an ironclad premarital contract to seal the deal.

But after a few … Read More

Bill Gross: Time Bomb or Rainmaker?

Janus shareholders seem convinced Gross will work his trillion-dollar magic for them, but with the SEC checking the bond king’s math, vague “fundamental differences” may turn into a noose around his new firm’s neck.

Judging from the market reaction, Bill Gross jumping ship from Pimco was the best thing that has happened to Janus in a long, long time.

Shares … Read More

What Do Clients Want? Survey Results with Action Items

Recently a 2013 survey run by the Spectrem Group came across my desk. The firm conducts online interviews with affluent households in the US. The interviews cover approximately:

  • 1,500 mass affluent households
  • 1,000 millionaire households and
  • 500 ultra-high-net-worth households

These finding are essentially your blueprint for how to attract and retain more clients. The most interesting findings from the survey

Read More

Tom Clancy Estate Smolders as $83 Million Marital Infighting Flares

Techno-thriller king tried to write a happy ending for both halves of his blended family, but there seem to be just enough pages of plot missing to distract the executors from looking out for vulnerable assets.

Tom Clancy was one of the behemoths of modern publishing, parlaying a flair for describing military procedure into a multimedia empire.

Unfortunately, one of … Read More

$200 Million FolioDynamix Buy Proves Wealth Platforms Are In Play

A few months ago, the outsourced portfolio provider was nibbling at its rivals. Now the firm itself has accepted a takeout offer from an unexpected direction. Who is Actua and what do they want?

Cut through the headlines and the acquisition of FolioDynamix looks like a little more than the usual bolt-on buyout to achieve scale.

For one thing, the … Read More

The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Wealth Management Platform

When assets are scarce, costs for portfolio management, research, trading, client service and compliance remain fixed. A turnkey investment management platform, with fees based on assets under management, can reduce costs and unlock strategic flexibility.

Could the post-credit crunch death spiral experienced by so many wealth management firms have been avoided with an outsourced investment management solution?

For example, consider Read More

High-Growth Markets Help Newly Chartered AdvisorTrust Hit Home Run

Next-generation “advisor-friendly” strategy combines deep connections in the retirement industry with commitment to helping partners prospect their own wins. Net result: zero to $2 billion in 60 days.

When independent trust company AdvisorTrust got its state charter in November, the principals had their toe in the doors of a lot of high-powered advisory firms, but they still had to sign … Read More

Joan Rivers Covered Her $290 Million Bases, Leaving Space for the Intangibles

One of the biggest celebrity fortunes looks relatively simple to distribute. Good estate planning means the heirs can concentrate on mourning, the funeral and the lingering medical questions.

Joan Rivers went out at the top of her game, leaving behind what the wealth rankings estimate is around $290 million for her heirs.

From all accounts, settling the estate will be … Read More

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