Enjoy the current installment of “Weekend Reading For Financial Planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the global financial services industry buzz of the “Pandora Papers”, the latest leak of the so-called “shadow financial system” used by certain ultra-high-net-worth households (including world leaders, other politicians, celebrities, and more), highlighting the ways the system is used to hide assets (sometimes legally, and sometimes not), and the surprising extent to which the US has actually become the ‘offshore’ haven for those in other countries looking to hide assets in US trusts… which in turn has already spawned proposed legislation in Congress this week to crack down on the unreported flows of assets through certain US trusts and the lawyers and accountants who facilitate them.
Also in the industry news this week:
- As social media becomes increasingly popular for financial services – from meme stocks to testimonials, and the rise of “Finfluencers” – FINRA is taking an increasingly hard look at how social media is used within broker-dealers
- Regulators are focused more and more on advisors getting ‘trusted contacts’ for all their clients to serve as the first line of defense to spot diminishing capacity and financial elder abuse
From there, we have several articles on the ongoing rise of (fee-based) annuities, including:
- A new Stand-Alone Living Benefit (SALB) offering from RetireOne that allows RIAs to wrap annuity guarantees around their existing managed accounts (without actually being required to liquidate and transfer the assets into an annuity)
- A survey from DPL showing that advisors are increasingly looking to use annuities as a bond substitute
- A research study from David Blanchett highlighting the risks of using Fixed Indexed Annuities in particular as a bond substitute, and the hazards of comparing historical FIA returns to those that would be purchased today at current (much-lower-than-historical) interest rates.
We’ve also included a number of marketing-related articles:
- Tools that advisors can use to expedite email communication with clients, from recording quick personalized videos to easily catching grammatical errors
- The rise of “Local Service Ads” on Google and why they may be better suited than traditional Google Ads for advisors that have a geographic reach beyond their local zip code
- A study highlighting how more and more consumers are vetting their advisors on social media before engaging, with 1-in-5 stating that an advisor’s social media presence was the deciding factor in who to work with!
We wrap up with three final articles, all around the theme of investing in ourselves:
- Why believing in yourself and building your own self-confidence is foundational to career success
- The benefits of hiring a coach, not only when you’re struggling, but whenever you’re trying to get to the next level
- Why it’s better to think of your career as a “call option” than simply a stock, because of the significant upside potential that can come from switching careers, launching a business, or simply reinvesting in yourself to make a stretch for that next job (and the outsized rewards that can come if that leap goes well)!
Enjoy the ‘light’ reading!