Weekend Reading for Financial Planners (Dec 18-19)

Weekend Reading for Financial Planners (Dec 18-19)

Enjoy the current installment of “Weekend Reading For Financial Planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the news that the Senate vote on the much-anticipated Build Back Better Act has been delayed until after the start of 2022 after Senate Democrats could not reconcile their disagreements over the bill’s size and scope – though the pending lapse in expanded Child Tax Credit payments (along with other highly touted parts of President Biden’s agenda) puts pressure on the Senate to act soon to pass the bill ahead of 2022’s midterm elections

Also in the news this week:

  • Research from Cerulli has found that the number of retail broker-dealers declined by 28% in the decade from 2010 to 2020, underscoring the extent to which small- and mid-sized broker-dealers have struggled to retain advisors who have either jumped to larger broker-dealer firms or switched to the “pure” RIA model
  • A consumer study shows that among people with over $250,000 in assets, having a financial advisor is associated with higher overall happiness – with the effect increasing dramatically for those with over $1.2 million

From there, we also have several articles discussing recent surveys that show how different types of consumers find both financial advice and financial advisors:

  • Why wealthy millennials are looking for financial advisors who can best coordinate their advice with digital tools (but aren’t using digital tools in lieu of advisors)
  • Consumers are looking to a wide range of online sources – from Facebook to TikTok – for financial advice, suggesting that advisors who demonstrate expertise on these sites could be better positioned to attract potential clients
  • A survey of how consumers select financial advisors shows that wealthier individuals are more likely than others to use the recommendations of centers of influence rather than friends, and that affluent Millennials behave more like the affluent than less wealthy Millennials when it comes to working with advisors

We also have a number of articles on inflation and the investments that might serve as inflation hedges:

  • How REITs and equities have outperformed gold as inflation hedges
  • Why cryptocurrency’s value as an inflation hedge is still unclear
  • How the inflation-adjusted price of college tuition has recently started to fall, after decades of increases

We wrap up with three final articles, all around how Vanguard shapes the investing and financial advice industry today:

  • Why Vanguard is continuing its expansion into financial advice (and opening a new office in the home territory of its rival Charles Schwab)
  • Why the biggest fund in the world – the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund – tracks an index (the CRSP U.S. Total Market Index) that few non-professional investors have heard of, and what happens when a fund gets so large that it impacts the index it’s tracking
  • How Vanguard has evolved beyond its original mission of low-cost index investing for everyone – and why that doesn’t necessarily constitute a betrayal of its principles

Enjoy the “light” reading!

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