Weekend Reading for Financial Planners (Feb 20-21)

Weekend Reading for Financial Planners (Feb 20-21)

Enjoy the current installment of “Weekend Reading For Financial Planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the news that the Biden administration will not be halting the new Department of Labor fiduciary rule, which controversially will begin to allow ERISA fiduciaries and those advising on IRA rollovers to receive commissions as long as they otherwise meet “Impartial Conduct Standards”… but that the DoL may still be looking to implement future “improvements” to the rule and its conflict-of-interest exemptions that may tighten the permitted level of conflicted advice in the future.

Also in the news this week are a number of other notable industry headlines, including:

  • The DoL’s new fiduciary rule taking effect means brokers and RIAs will now face additional DoL scrutiny on rollovers from IRAs (and not just when advising on ERISA employer retirement plans) and may need to prepare new policies and procedures to document (and maintain documentation of) their rollover recommendations
  • A new study on the ‘Pulse of the [RIA] Industry’ finds that despite the 2020 turmoil, the average RIA grew substantially last year, and the average firm is now projecting a 10% hiring binge in 2021 with ongoing growth

From there, we have several articles on social media marketing:

  • Key tips on how financial advisors can build their own online personal brand via various social media platforms
  • How TikTok is rapidly becoming a new platform for financial advisors to market themselves (through short-form ‘edutainment’ videos)
  • Why Instagram is proving to be an effective social media marketing channel (particularly for advisors pursuing next-generation upwardly mobile clients)

We’ve also included a number of retirement-related articles, including:

  • How fixed annuities can improve net after-tax returns over traditional fixed-income alternatives simply by taking advantage of the tax deferral benefits and avoiding tax drag
  • Why single premium long-term care insurance may be coming back in vogue (both to avoid the risk of future premium increases, and to ‘take money off the table’ in the face of high market valuations and low yields)
  • A look at how to adapt the future of Social Security to support more private savings (and how other countries are dealing with their own social insurance programs)

We wrap up with three final articles, all around the theme of what it takes to build and maintain trust:

  • How low trust (both between individuals and with industries) can outright increase the cost of doing business and the end cost of products and services (including financial planning) to consumers
  • How ‘humanizing’ robo-advisors (by literally giving them a name) actually decreases our trust when looking for help on complex tasks
  • A deep dive into how the military has managed to maintain its institutional trust while virtually every other major institution has faced declining trust in recent decades (and the lessons it implies for how to get societal trust back on track)

Enjoy the ‘light’ reading!

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