Saturday links: misestimating happiness

Registration for the first of its kind Wealth/Stack Conference on September 8-10th, 2019 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Arizona is now open! Use this link to get an exclusive discount so you can find out how advisors are bridging the gap between technology, investment management and practice management. Quote of the Day “You can’t […]

Longform links: nudged to death

Saturdays are all about longform links on Abnormal Returns. You can check out last week’s linkfest including a look at two trends American men are dealing with. Finance Food Music Book excerpts Longreads

Some plan sponsors may need a nudge about HSA rollovers

The lineup of ways workers can save for retirement has expanded in recent years, with health savings accounts now looked upon as retirement savings vehicles along with 401(k) plans. But a recent survey suggests companies aren’t doing a good job when it comes to helping employees roll over their HSA savings when they start a […]

Stop Trying To Do It All

[Editor’s Note: The following post is by Passive Income, MD, the greatest outsourcer that I’ve ever met. He argues that doctors are far too afraid of outsourcing tasks, both at home and at work.  This post could be written directly to me. Enjoy!] If there’s anything I’ve learned about readers of this site, it’s that […]

Galvin to propose fiduciary rule for Massachusetts brokers

Massachusetts will propose a rule that would mandate brokers and investment advisers apply a fiduciary standard of care in interactions with clients, Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin announced Friday afternoon. The Massachusetts Securities Division is soliciting preliminary comments on a rule proposal. The comment period will remain open until 5 p.m. on Friday, July […]

Weekend Reading for Financial Planners (June 15-16)

Executive Summary Enjoy the current installment of “weekend reading for financial planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the official release of IRS regulations that kill the charitable “workarounds” that many states have been trying to create since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act capped the State And Local Tax (SALT) deduction at just […]

Finra fines former Merrill rep $5,000 over outside crypto trading

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has fined former Merrill Lynch representative Kyung Soo Kim $5,000 and suspended him for one month for engaging in cryptocurrency trading at a firm he created outside Merrill Lynch that he did not disclose. (More:​ Finra makes its first cryptocurrency bust) Merrill Lynch discharged Mr. Kim on March 14, […]

Friday links: permanent losses

Registration for the first of its kind Wealth/Stack Conference on September 8-10th, 2019 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Arizona is now open! Use this link to get an exclusive discount so you can find out how advisors are bridging the gap between technology, investment management and practice management. Quote of the Day “In a […]

The Risk Of Being Unhirable After Retiring Early Is Overblown

In my post about the things I’d do differently if I had a retirement do over, one commenter mentioned something that caught my eye. Although I’ve briefly entertained this notion before, I never believed it to be true. Here’s what he said: This isn’t to put down Sam in any way, but it is way […]

Mass affluent say financial stress affecting their mental health

Even relatively wealthy Americans are so worried about their finances that it’s affecting their mental and physical health. That’s one of the findings in a Bank of America Corp. survey of more than 1,000 people in the U.S. who have enough investable money to qualify as “mass affluent.” Financial concerns affected the mental health of […]

Does Reg BI really hold brokers to a higher standard than investment advisers?

Reg BI rolled-out with bravado and fanfare on June 5. The SEC chairman spear-headed a two-hour presentation on two rules and two interpretations aimed at bringing “the legal requirements and mandated disclosures in line with reasonable investor expectations.” In an open meeting, the chairman outlined the hurdles overcome — including interested parties “strident and divergent […]

Federal Reserve seen on track for rate cut this year

The Federal Reserve will likely cut interest rates this year but not nearly as aggressively as investors expect, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. Respondents to a June 7-12 poll saw policymakers lowering rates by a quarter point this year. That’s a meaningful shift since March — when economists anticipated a hike in September […]

How much will costs of products and accounts factor into Reg BI?

A recently approved Securities and Exchange Commission advice reform package seems to be of two minds about what emphasis brokers should put on the costs of their recommendations. Language was added to the final Regulation Best Interest, which is designed to raise the broker standard of care, that requires brokers to consider product and account […]

Wells Fargo brokers managing $671 million leave for Stifel

Six advisers, collectively managing $671 million at Wells Fargo Advisors, have joined Stifel Nicolaus & Company in California, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Taylor Browman and Tyler Weaver, who were responsible for $240 million in assets, have joined Stifel in Newport Beach, Calif. Mr. Browman began his career in 1981 at Smith Barney and worked at several […]

Wells Fargo reps managing $587 million go indie with Raymond James

A four-adviser team that managed $587 million in assets at Wells Fargo and had $385 million in institutional assets under advisement, have gone independent and affiliated with Raymond James. David A. McBee Jr., Michael M. Mikeska, Michael Peschel and Brittany D. Smith formed Wealth Partners Alliance along with John Saalfield and Rick Lima, who left […]

Podcast links: a three comma industry

Fridays are all about podcast links here at Abnormal Returns. You can check out last week’s links including a talk with Mark Manson about his new book “Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope.” The biz Finance Non-finance

What if the cost of capital never rises? Ben Carlson on The Compound

Continuing the discussion raised by Bernstein’s question, and the post I did yesterday, which has been spreading like wildfire (thanks so much for reading and sharing!)… Here’s Ben Carlson and I about the implications for portfolio construction, asset allocation, capitalism, etc. Make sure you’re subbed to the Compound Show mini podcast. We’re doing some really […]

2019 Financial Educator of the Year Award

In February, I called for nominations for the Financial Educator of the Year award. In the same post, I gave away a few sets of slides to use in educating medical students, residents, and doctors about finances. I have been very pleased to see what appears to be an increase in financial talks being given […]

Is SEC disgorgement endangered? Supreme Court to decide

For decades, the Securities and Exchange Commission has relied on disgorgement: monetary relief created by the courts to recover a defendant’s ill-gotten gains from violating the nation’s securities laws. But two years ago, financial advisers and other SEC-regulated parties who anticipated paying disgorgement needed to do some recalculations after the Supreme Court decided Kokesh v. […]

BlackRock: Focus on ETF quality, rather than cost

BlackRock Inc. is tired of the conversation about cost. The world’s largest asset manager, which runs some of the cheapest investment products available, plans to place a greater focus on the quality of the engineering, construction and management of its funds going forward, said Armando Senra, who recently took over as head of the company’s […]

Pershing introduces tool to help advisers choose best technology

Pershing has launched a new device to help investment advisers on its custodial platform choose the technology that best fits their businesses, the company announced Thursday. Called the tech assessment tool, it is designed to determine an adviser’s technology needs and then generate a report that lists an array of software products that are compared […]

Cetera latest to be hit with data breach of personal information

Cetera Financial Group is the latest in a growing number of financial advice firms to be hit with a data breach, putting information for about 2,000 clients at risk. The firm confirmed the number of clients whose information was potentially compromised more than two months ago. “On March 27, Cetera discovered that an unauthorized individual […]

4 strategies for Roth conversions

The time is ripe to convert traditional, pretax retirement accounts to Roth-style accounts. Low individual tax rates by historical standards and a pending reversion in 2026 to the higher rates that preceded the new tax law make this an opportune time, according to financial advisers. There may be an additional incentive if the stretch IRA, […]

SEC bars broker for churning clients' accounts through firm

The Securities and Exchange Commission has barred former broker Jovannie Aquino, charging him with churning clients’ accounts through his firm at the time, New York-based Windsor Street Capital. Mr. Aquino is no longer employed in the securities industry and his former employer, Windsor Street Capital, has been expelled by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. […]

When Everything That Counts Can’t Be Counted

An analysis of book value captures things like plants and equipment and facilities and hard-money, real assets that corporations have managed to accumulate over their lifetimes. And when the cost of money is higher, these things are more highly valued by investors because they are expensive to replicate and costly to replace. An analysis of […]

States losing battle over SALT cap deduction

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have been fighting a new cap on state and local tax deductions ever since it was included in the 2017 Republican tax overhaul. They are losing. [More:​ Treasury deals final blow to states’ SALT deduction workarounds] The tax law capped the federal deduction for state and local taxes, or […]

Thursday links: art vs. science

Registration for the first of its kind Wealth/Stack Conference on September 8-10th, 2019 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Arizona is now open! Use this link to get an exclusive discount so you can find out how advisors are bridging the gap between technology, investment management and practice management. Quote of the Day “When I […]

Lessons for those 'graduating' to retirement

To those newly retired, I offer my congratulations. Those of us who provide financial guidance to this growing segment of consumers know that this is a critical time and a major transition in the lives of people who have worked hard throughout their careers to get to this next chapter. While new retirees will be […]

Startup links: not a VC fit

Thursdays at Abnormal Returns are all about startup and venture capital links. You can check out last week’s links including a look at Scott Kupor’s new book “Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It.” Quote of the Day “Your business might be helping people, enriching lives or even saving them, […]

How Does the US Tax Foreign Investment Income? – Podcast #110

Podcast #110 Show Notes: How Does the US Tax Foreign Investment Income? How does the US tax foreign investment income? Foreign income is taxed as ordinary income on your US tax return. No free lunch here, sorry. The places that are paying higher interest rates are generally expected to depreciate against the dollar.  So should […]

Betterment offering automated investing and advice for Optum Bank HSA

Health savings account customers of Optum Bank, one of the nation’s largest HSA providers, can now use Betterment for help investing HSA money. Betterment CEO Jon Stein announced the new partnership Wednesday at CB Insights’ annual Future of Fintech conference in New York. Calling it a “simple, smart, automated HSA,” the idea is to help […]

Morgan Stanley sees massive growth from giant teams of advisers

Morgan Stanley is betting that giant teams of advisers with up to $100 million in annual revenue will be a big driver of growth in the future. That will occur even as the firm sees its total head count of 15,700 financial advisers and brokers dip, said Andy Saperstein, Morgan Stanley’s head of wealth management. […]

4 Steps to Make Your 401(k) Work as Hard as You Do

Whether you work as an employee or you are self-employed you work hard for your money.  In spite of what was said on PBS Frontline The Retirement Gamble and elsewhere in the press, in my opinion 401(k) plans are one of the best retirement savings vehicles available. Here are 4 steps to make sure that […]

Special Social Security rules for public sector employees

Questions from readers about Social Security rules and strategies seem to come in waves. The latest tsunami involves Social Security rules for public employees, their spouses and survivors — a total of about 2.5 million people. Although participation in Social Security is compulsory for most workers, about 7% of all workers are not covered by […]

Pershing's incoming CEO sees opportunity in high-demand advisory services

Pershing’s incoming chief executive said Wednesday the custodian is focused on taking advantage of the increasing market for investment advice and helping advisers on its platform expand their businesses with faster technology and richer data. “The wealth and advisory services business is in greater demand today than ever before from all of your investors,” Pershing […]

401(k) savings rates have stagnated

401(k) plan design has by most accounts improved dramatically over the past decade. The number of retirement plans that automatically enroll employees has swelled more than 50%, and roughly a third of those plans automatically increase employees’ savings rates. But there’s a snag: Evidence suggests that overall employees aren’t saving more money. Participants’ 401(k) savings […]

Finra bars former head of B-D over money-laundering lapses

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has barred Donna Jean Flemming, the former president and chief executive officer of Spencer Edwards Inc. for failing to implement an adequate anti-money laundering program and for falsifying documents. (More:​ SEC, Finra nab two firms for AML violations) The firm’s membership in Finra was cancelled on Feb. 1. In […]

Finra bars former UBS rep involved in trading away investigation

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has barred former UBS representative and branch manager Nicolas Barrios for declining to take part in an investigation into alleged trading away activities. (More:​ UBS confronts ‘one of the worst’ Q1 environments in recent history) In April, Mr. Barrios was discharged by UBS after stating in a firm review […]

Finra bars no-show former Cetera rep

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has barred Nina Jessee, who resigned from Cetera Advisors amid allegations of unauthorized outside business activity, for not cooperating with its investigation of her activities. Ms. Jessee, who had 24 disclosures on her BrokerCheck record over a 31-year career, worked for Cetera a little over a year before leaving […]

Long-shot bid for Wells Fargo CEO job gains steam

More than two months into Wells Fargo & Co.‘s broad search for its next leader, a pitch to keep its interim chief is gaining a bit of steam — thanks in part to the people who don’t want the job. Several executives widely seen as attractive candidates have indicated they aren’t interested in joining the […]

What Are Your Thoughts: Hilarious Predictions

[embedded content] On an all new episode of What Are Your Thoughts, Michael Batnick and Downtown Josh Brown discuss: * What to make of the Beyond Meat extravaganza * Economists’ interest rate predictions were hilarious this year * The S&P 500 has been flat for 18 months, now what? * Will the Knicks still go […]

John Taft: Reg BI the best we could have hoped for

Nine years after the Dodd-Frank Act gave the Securities and Exchange Commission authority to raise the bar for individual investor protection, the SEC finally took the bull by the horns last week, approving its long-awaited Regulation Best Interest by a 3-1 vote. The rule takes the existing regulatory regime for broker-dealers to an entirely new […]