Here are the latest developments in news, trends and practice management for financial advisors.
Year-End Stimulus: What Changed for Retirement Plan Participants
The year-end COVID-19 stimulus bill extended some of the relief created under the CARES Act earlier in 2020, write Robert Bloink and William H. Byrnes. However, it’s also generated much confusion over which retirement-related relief provisions were extended. In fact, much of the retirement relief related to COVID-19 was not carried over into 2021. Rather, the law provided new forms of relief for different situations — some of which are entirely unrelated to the pandemic. Read Year-End Stimulus: What Changed for Retirement Plan Participants
How to Plan For LGBTQ, Blended Families, Cohabitation, Other Nontraditional Families
Some people are concerned that the new conservative 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court will roll back protections for non-traditional families, writes Matthew Erskine. Regardless of the decisions at the Supreme Court, or the impact on the state family courts, there are many ways that non-traditional families can maintain control. This applies not only to the LBGTQ couples, but also for families where there is gray divorce, blended families and stepchildren through non-marital cohabitation, single parents by choice, multinational families, and children born through assisted reproductive technologies (ART). It also includes transgender, gender non-binary, or gender fluid individuals.
The key is drafting for flexibility so that the wills, trusts, and other documents follow the clients wishes rather than leave it to the courts to decide. Read How to Plan For LGBTQ, Blended Families, Cohabitation, Other Nontraditional Families.
Women in Wealth: An Examination of Gender Diversity in Financial Services
Women make up over half of all financial-services industry employees, yet only 15% occupy executive suites and there remain significant pay gaps between women and men, according to a special report published by ThinkAdvisor. As issues of diversity reach a tipping point, this report investigates how women are changing the face of the industry, and the obstacles and opportunities they encounter along the way. Read Women in Wealth: An Examination of Gender Diversity in Financial Services.
Advisor Advertising Rules Enter the 21st Century
The SEC’s new ad rule provides advisors many opportunities, as well as “requirements that may require more clarity,” according to an article by Melanie Waddell. Read Advisor Advertising Rules Enter 21st Century.
A Mortgage is Not a “Negative Bond”
With fixed income yields stubbornly low, should clients prepay their mortgage instead of investing in bonds? Peter Hofmann argues this question is based on a false equivalence. Mortgages are not “negative bonds.” The prepayment decision goes well beyond interest savings and should consider asset allocation, risk tolerance, and liquidity. Read A Mortgage is Not a “Negative Bond”.
Actively Managed ETFs with the Biggest 3-year Gains
Top performance from a leading active manager typically comes at a price, writes Andrew Shilling. For the funds in this ranking, however, it may be hard to justify not paying the premium. Read Actively managed ETFs with the biggest 3-year gains.
House Bill Would Adjust Retirees’ Capital Gains Tax for Inflation
The legislation would allow an inflation adjustment for stock or business property held by people 59½ or older who have held the assets for more than three years, writes Emile Hallez. The inflation adjustments would be made according to the Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. Read House bill would adjust retirees’ capital gains tax for inflation.
SEC Empowers More Staff to Launch Investigations
The change puts pressure on firms' compliance operations, say experts quoted in this InvestmentNew report. Facilitating the ability of SEC staff to issue subpoenas and take testimony is expected to make enforcement more agile and effective. Read SEC empowers more staff to launch investigations.