Weekend Reading for Financial Planners (May 1-2)

Weekend Reading for Financial Planners (May 1-2)

Enjoy the current installment of “Weekend Reading For Financial Planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with a recap of the key provisions in President Biden’s new “American Families Plan”, which includes not only a wide range of provisions regarding child care and education for children, but also a number of “revenue-raisers” of significant pertinence to financial advisors, from higher top ordinary income tax brackets, to a new (much-higher) top capital gains rate, and the elimination of step-up-in-basis rules that would cause all unrealized gains to become taxable as capital gains at death.

In addition, there are several additional articles around this week’s tax proposals, including:

  • How estate planning may begin to change if step-up-in-basis really is eliminated
  • How the concentration of wealth in equities is leading tax policy to shift away from raising ordinary income tax rates and towards rising long-term capital gains rates in particular

From there, we have several interesting articles on retirement:

  • While retirement is traditionally viewed as the end of work, considering the positives of work (from having a sense of identity to a purpose to get up every morning) may actually provide the key to what leads to a happy retirement
  • Increasing longevity, along with an increase in our “productive” years, is leading to a rethinking of work and when we “should” retire
  • Living longer in our later years is leading to a rise in how many people live long enough to experience a cognitive decline, creating a focal issue for financial advisors who are often the first to observe such issues in their clients

We’ve also included a number of practice management articles on the theme of improving services to clients:

  • Why the real key to understanding what clients want isn’t just about getting feedback on what you’re doing but client input about what they actually want
  • The limitations of being a data-driven firm when it comes to figuring out what clients might want that the firm is not already doing (and therefore can’t be evaluated in the existing data)
  • How the best firms adopting more technology are not using it to expedite client interactions but to free up time for more meaningful interactions instead

We wrap up with three final articles, all around the theme of the ongoing evolution of the advice business itself:

  • Why higher standards for financial advisors could actually increase growth and retention rates (as consumers are more likely to seek out a financial advisor in the first place when they have more financial trust in advisors)
  • The challenges of emerging “point and click” credentials and why it’s important to distinguish between advisor certificates and actual certification
  • How the coming decade may witness a transformation of the planning profession, from how firms leverage technology to how the world of advisors is regulated (or, alternatively, begins to peer-review and regulate itself?)

Enjoy the ‘light’ reading!

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