El Erian: Expect a Fed Rate Hike by September

    CNBC news by Jenny Cosgrave 

    Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, has told CNBC that investors should prepare for a U.S. rate hike this summer, but added that the Federal Reserve will cushion the blow with “very aggressive forward guidance policy”.

    When the Fed eventually does start lifting rates from their current record lows, they will stop “well below” … Read More

    Estate Planning for Blended Families

    Huffington Post post by Alexandra Smyser

    You have arrived at your second marriage a little bit older and (hopefully) a little bit wiser. Second marriages and blended families present their own issues when it comes to estate planning. You would like to take care of your spouse and your children, but letting them work it out after you are gone … Read More

    Bravo’s Greg Plitt Had $800K in the Bank … But No Will

    Bravo’s fitness star Greg Plitt — who was hit and killed by a commuter train — did not have a will, and now his family is trying to ensure his $800,000 estate ends up in the right hands.

    As TMZ first reported … Plitt died tragically in January while shooting a commercial for a sports drink.

    The 37-year-old did not … Read More

    Envestnet Acquires Upside

    Envestnet Continues Mission to Increase the Relevance of the Financial Advisor with Upside Acquisition

    Envestnet, Inc. (NYSE: ENV), a leading provider of unified wealth management technology and services to financial advisors, announced that it has acquired Upside, a technology company providing digital advice solutions to financial advisors.  Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

    Upside helps financial advisors compete against … Read More

    In Case of L’Oréal Heiress, a Private World of Wealth Becomes Public

    NYT article by Doreen Carvajal

    For five weeks, a French version of “Downton Abbey” has been unfolding in a courtroom here, providing a rare glimpse into the discreet lives of the ultrarich.

    The real-life drama, set in an Art Moderne mansion in Neuilly-sur-Seine, an exclusive town west of Paris, features a cast that includes long-serving chambermaids, cooks and butlers who … Read More

    Fidelity Investments® Aligns Clearing and Custody Units; Strengthens Commitment to Innovation in Financial Advice Industry

    Fidelity Institutional, the division of Fidelity Investments that provides clearing, custody and investment management products to registered investment advisors (RIAs), broker-dealers, family offices, retirement recordkeepers and banks, today announced the alignment of its clearing and custody units.

    Fidelity Enterprise Services also announced the creation of a new organization, Fidelity Wealth Technologies, a group that will drive and deliver digital solutions … Read More

    Obama Attacks Advisors Selling Snake Oil, Lauds New DOL Fiduciary Rule

    Forbes article by Ashlea Ebeling

    Take two. President Barack Obama called on the Department of Labor to move forward with a proposed rulemaking to require retirement advisers to put their clients’ best interest before their own profits. It’s a rewrite of the dropped 2010 rewrite of the 40-year-old fiduciary rule. (The 2010 rewrite was withdrawn in 2011 amidst industry furor.)Read More

    Making Brokers Toe the Mark

    NYT article by Tara Siegel Bernard

    If you are in the market for financial advice, good luck figuring out which financial advisers are legally obligated to act in your best interest. There is a big difference between glorified salesman and true investment advisers, and yet the onus is on consumers to sort it all out.

    A long-awaited rule being drafted … Read More

    Advisers Tout ‘Fiduciary’ Label to Stand Out From Crowd

    Reuters news by Hilary Johnson

    Financial advisers looking to show they have their clients’ best interests at heart are paying to certify that they adhere to a “fiduciary” standard that regulators have been debating for years.

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been mulling a requirement that all advisers be fiduciaries, which would require Wall Street brokers to put … Read More

    Financial Advice by the Demographics

    NYT article by Tara Siegel Bernard

    When a woman calls Fidelity about her investments there, her questions are likely to be handled a bit differently from those asked by a man.

    Customer service representatives are more likely to chitchat to establish rapport. And they may frame the conversation around her longer-term goals or the important people in her life — … Read More


ABA Summit: Regulatory Clarity Gives Banks New Confidence To Move

The winds of dread blowing out of Washington are finally easing as long-awaited rules hit the books and an industry once paralyzed by contingencies gets back to work.

One of the factors driving the energy at this year’s ABA Trust & Wealth Management Summit is relief.

Nearly seven years after the credit crash, many of the new regulations that have … Read More

Robo Advisors, Non-Traditional Markets: ABA Conference Sharpens Bank Advisors’ Edge

Once-rigid bank wealth management departments are done playing defense. This year’s ABA program gets the channel’s power brokers keyed up to soup up their platforms with cutting-edge systems.

The banks have had a tough decade but from what I’m hearing at this year’s ABA Wealth Management & Trust Conference, the wounds have healed and they’re ready to get back in … Read More

Steve Jobs’ Posthumous Map For Apple: Did He Want To Buy A Car Company?

Wall Street is pleading for the computer giant to pay at least $27 billion for Tesla. With the founder’s famous four-year plan winding down, it might not matter that an Apple car was not on the agenda.

The comparison is easy. Each built multiple companies as well as a reputation as a charismatic, detail-driven visionary, and now Musk is pushing … Read More

Would Whitney Have Let Bobbi Die? Life Support Fight Highlights Need for Multiple Levels of Advance Directive

While it now looks like once-estranged dad Bobby Brown will keep comatose daughter Bobbi Kristina plugged in as long as it takes, weeks of mixed messages have taken an unnecessary toll on the family.

Whitney Houston was found dead in the tub three years ago. Now her 21-year-old daughter might be on life support for the rest of her life … Read More

Robin Williams Widow Sues Estate: Does the Trust Trump Survivor Rights?

Prenuptial contracts walled off the assets from alimony claims when the star was alive but death creates new questions about where a late-in-life spouse fits into an estate plan.

It looked like Robin Williams had negotiated a smooth inheritance solution for his widow and the three children he fathered in previous marriages.

But now that the executors have started winding … Read More

Mariah Carey Nanny Lawsuit: Are Your Top Clients Vulnerable To Staff Accusations?

While paying overtime is unlikely to break the $500 million diva, having her dirty household laundry aired in public is a bigger problem. This is a wake-up call for family offices that don’t run like a business.

Mariah Carey is one of the 20 richest women in the entertainment world. Paying her staff time and a half would be a … Read More

Liz Warren on the Defensive: Why a Multi-Millionaire Scorns Wall Street

Regulation-hungry senator’s declining net worth reveals a profound lack of trust in financial markets. Will her personal aversion to risk force an entire industry to embrace the drag, much less change the 2016 political landscape?

The recent buzz around how much money Elizabeth Warren has in the bank only shows how polarizing a figure she’s become since she came to … Read More

Obama Plan to Lower Middle Class Tax at Expense of Rich is Non-Starter for GOP

Proposed tax hike on highly appreciated inherited assets gives wealthy families and their advocates a chill. Certain forms of trust arrangement have started looking better than ever.

Rumor has it President Obama is going after inherited money to pay for new middle-class programs, but early chatter has already exposed the White House’s misunderstanding of how “trust funds” work.

It seems … Read More

Can Harold Hamm’s Trust Legally Cover His $900M Divorce Check?

Details in the shale oil king’s SEC filings raise tough questions about what happens to his billions now that his trust has picked up the biggest settlement in history.

We couldn’t help but notice that the name on the check matched the signature, which raises an 11-digit question for Hamm’s heirs.

As it turns out, the oil company is held … Read More

The Best and Worst Trust Companies for Advisors in 2015

Now that truly independent trust companies are shaking up the financial landscape, some vendors have hit a strategic wall. It’s time for the giants to wake up and for “me too” advisor-friendly firms to further differentiate or die. 

When we started mapping the independent trust industry, it was hard to find a dozen firms willing to commit to sharing the … Read More

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