Weekend Reading for Financial Planners (Feb 26-27)

Weekend Reading for Financial Planners (Feb 26-27)

Enjoy the current installment of “Weekend Reading For Financial Planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the release of the IRS’s long-awaited SECURE Act regulations, which clear up many questions advisors had about how the law’s provisions will apply to IRA beneficiaries after the original owner’s death in numerous scenarios (such as what to do when the original IRA owner was taking RMDs before their death, what options spouses of deceased IRA owners have for distributing the IRA’s assets, and which distribution rules apply to “See-Through” discretionary trusts).

Also in industry news this week:

  • The IRS has reversed course on its plan to require users of its Online Account feature to submit to facial recognition to verify their identities after blowback from numerous sources (though the agency has yet to announce what will replace the facial recognition process and is still processing facial recognition through its website even after the announcement)
  • A new report from McKinsey shows that the fastest-growing category of investors are “hybrids” (i.e., those who have self-directed brokerage accounts in addition to a traditional financial advisor), underscoring the opportunity for advisors who can provide financial planning for clients beyond their (increasingly self-managed) investment portfolio

From there, we have several articles on education planning:

  • How ‘merit aid’ is lowering the cost of college for many families… and increasing the importance of getting strong grades in high school
  • How to navigate the rules for determining whether a college student is eligible for in-state tuition benefits
  • How to ‘superfund’ a 529 plan, and when it might (or might not) be a useful strategy for financial planning clients

We also have a number of articles on practice management:

  • How advisory firm owners can use the “Entrepreneurial Operating System” to systematize organizational meetings, identify and solve issues, and stay focused on the firm’s long-term goals to overcome the challenges that come with being an “accidental business owner”
  • Why businesses are increasingly considering offering more frequent pay raise schedules in the face of a hot labor market
  • How realizing the potential of the remote work environment to give employees more flexibility and control over their lives (and make them happier and healthier in the long run) may depend on replacing constant “pings” and meetings with more asynchronous forms of communication like task boards that give employees information when they need it (but don’t interrupt them when they don’t)

We wrap up with three final articles, all about the benefits of learning to become a (better) writer:

  • How strong writing skills can help advisors refine their ideas, and better communicate with prospects and clients
  • Strategies for overcoming writer’s block, and how advisors can leverage their clients’ questions to generate content
  • How writing can turn ideas from raw building blocks into a well-reasoned and coherent discussion with clients and prospects

Enjoy the ‘light’ reading!

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