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Viewing posts in the Fiduciary Links category.


Fiduciary Links: Is an adviser self-regulator a fait accompli?

Posted by fi360 Team on June 23, 2014 in Fiduciary Links

>>>At a recent CFA Institute conference focused on self-regulation for advisers, the panelists looked past the debate of whether an adviser SRO was the best option, and instead treated it as the inevitable conclusion to the regulatory oversight debate. They started directly with covering how an eventual SRO should operate and how that will affect advisers and their clients. In his most recent column for InvestmentNews, fi360 CEO Blaine Aikin covers some of what he heard at the event, including the CFA Institute’s report on the 10 characteristics that an effective SRO must demonstrate. Those characteristics...

Fiduciary Links: Is an adviser self-regulator a fait accompli?

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Fiduciary Links: Looking forward to the next big advisor fee model

Posted by fi360 Team on June 16, 2014 in Fiduciary Links

>>>>>In his column for Financial Planning magazine, Bob Veres gives a short history lesson on how broker and advisor fee models have changed over the years, before taking a look at the next potentially game-changing model. He suggests all advisors take a look at the monthly retainer model that some younger advisors are employing to target younger investors. The model can help both the advisor build their book of business at a younger age, while also allowing investors who don’t actually have assets to be managed gain the benefit of advice from a...

Fiduciary Links: Looking forward to the next big advisor fee model

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Fiduciary Links: Considering 401(k) plans from advisor and client perspectives

Posted by fi360 Team on June 02, 2014 in Fiduciary Links

>>>>>This week’s links included numerous articles pertaining to 401(k) plans, which both advisors and clients may find useful. Consider this article by ThinkAdvisor, which claims that just one or two options for fixed income in your retirement plan lineup may not be enough to meet your clients’ needs. It stresses the need for advisors to find the right balance of stocks and bonds for clients. There were also some great links to share with your clients about their retirement. This US News article claims that retirement should come first, in most cases....

Fiduciary Links: Considering 401(k) plans from advisor and client perspectives

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Fiduciary Links: SEC Should Fix Longstanding ‘Mismatch’ in Broker-Advisor Data to Advance Fiduciary Rule

Posted by Duane Thompson on May 19, 2014 in Fiduciary Links In the News Interviews

>>>>>For far too long the Securities and Exchange Commission has failed to calibrate examination and enforcement data comparing inspection cycles and resulting enforcement violations between brokers and investment advisors. The mismatch in data collection and analysis can and should be fixed as critics of a fiduciary standard, in search of another trope, continue their calls for delaying or ending the SEC’s consideration of a fiduciary rule. In recent statements by SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher, who has become increasingly outspoken on a variety of topics, the paucity of information on advisors compared to what...

Fiduciary Links: SEC Should Fix Longstanding ‘Mismatch’ in Broker-Advisor Data to Advance Fiduciary Rule

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Fiduciary Links: Changing Client Needs

Posted by on May 14, 2014 in Fiduciary Links

>>>>> Advisors have the responsibility of not only acting prudently with investor’s money, but also of encouraging investors to make wise decisions. This InvestmentNews’ article talks about the importance of investor behavior, and how important it is for advisors to prevent them from making costly mistakes. In the heat of the moment, these decisions can seem reasonable to clients, but will be detrimental in the long run. The Millennials present a tough challenge for the financial services industry. This article from ThinkAdvisor claims that the challenge is perhaps the most difficult for investment...

Fiduciary Links: Changing Client Needs

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Fiduciary Links: 3d Party Fiduciary Assessments Would Enhance SEC Inspection Cycle

Posted by Duane Thompson on March 17, 2014 in Fiduciary Links

>>>The Securities and Exchange Commission once again faces bleak prospects that Congress will approve its budget request for the next fiscal year, which begins October 1st.  Earlier this month the Obama Administration requested $1.7 billion for the agency, a 26 percent increase over fiscal year 2014.  Last year budget gridlock resulted in almost no new funding for the SEC, which would have added 250 examiners to its inspection program of advisory firms.  This year the SEC is asking for similar increases in personnel with probably even less chance of securing approval. House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., last...

Fiduciary Links: 3d Party Fiduciary Assessments Would Enhance SEC Inspection Cycle

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Fiduciary Links: The Growing Business of Banks and Advisory Services

Posted by fi360 Team on March 10, 2014 in Fiduciary Links

>>>Bankers will grow, conservatively, in their competition with RIAs in the next five years, according to this Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services study. The study, which included over 140 bank executives, uncovered a few keys to success, as well as the unique challenges faced by bankers in the wealth management business. The findings represent a change from recent years, and a shift in focus for management. The unique challenges perceived included internal training and the need to keep up with technology. First on the list was the perception of investors. Read the list, and accompanying information, here. A large...

Fiduciary Links: The Growing Business of Banks and Advisory Services

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Fiduciary Links: Are you ready for your first SEC exam?

Posted by fi360 Team on March 03, 2014 in Fiduciary Links

>>> In his most recent Fiduciary Corner column for InvestmentNews, fi360 CEO Blaine Aikin highlights SEC's initiative to examine many advisers who have never before been examined. There are currently 4,000 SEC-regulated RIA firms who have never been subject to an SEC exam. The new initiative will result in approximately 25% of those firms to finally be examined.  Blaine makes the case that whether or not your firm does become targeted for an examination, now is the time to start preparing for it. For one, you don't want regulators to bring to light any deficiencies which you...

Fiduciary Links: Are you ready for your first SEC exam?

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Fiduciary Links: Putting Spring Back into Your Firm's Step

Posted by fi360 Team on February 10, 2014 in Fiduciary Links

>>>  This past week there was a lot of coverage devoted to helping advisors grow their business, including a survey from Fidelity. The survey found that about 77% of the highest-performing advisory firms convince their clients to join in two meetings or less. High on the list of determining success was an efficient sales process. High-performers also consistently took a team-approach within their firm. Take a look at Michael Kitces' Five Stages of Growth in a Financial Planning Firm. Where is your firm now? What actions might propel you to the next stage,...

Fiduciary Links: Putting Spring Back into Your Firm's Step

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Fiduciary Links: The IRA Rollover Opportunity

Posted by fi360 Team on February 03, 2014 in Fiduciary Links

>>>IRA rollovers represent a huge opportunity for advisors. In fact, 90% of IRA growth has come from rollovers. In his latest Fiduciary Corner column, fi360 CEO Blaine Aikin takes a look at this fast growing market, the scrutiny coming from regulators, and what advisors need to consider before recommending a client make a rollover into an IRA account. Blaine boils these considerations down into the following guidelines for advisors: Due diligence matters Fees and expenses matter Conflicts of interest matter Document, disclose, and discuss all of the above The advisor who remains consistent with the fiduciary duties of...

Fiduciary Links: The IRA Rollover Opportunity

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Fiduciary Links: What investors need to know about rollovers

Posted by fi360 Team on January 27, 2014 in Fiduciary Links

>>>FINRA released an investor alert late last week with a top 10 list of considerations when rolling over an account into an IRA. Included in the list are tips for considering tax implications, to understand fully the fees associated (be wary of the "free" claims!), and to make decisions within the context of ensuring the best retirement saving outcome. It's a link worth sharing with any clients or prospect who may be considering a rollover.  For advisors, if you're unsure of what you can and can't do with IRA rollovers, or worried at all...

Fiduciary Links: What investors need to know about rollovers

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Fiduciary Links: Odds Raised Slightly SEC Will Knock on Your Door This Year

Posted by Duane Thompson on January 21, 2014 in Fiduciary Links In the News

>>>>According to an article in Investment News last week, the SEC’s examination arm – the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations – is ramping up its review of those registered investment advisory firms that have not been inspected in the last three or more years. The agency has recently estimated some 40 percent of its 11,000 RIA firms have never been the subject of a compliance audit. In past years OCIE has typically focused on higher risk RIAs – those with custody or the larger complexes that pose more risk to the markets. The vast majority...

Fiduciary Links: Odds Raised Slightly SEC Will Knock on Your Door This Year

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Fiduciary Links: 401(k) trends for 2014

Posted by fi360 Team on January 13, 2014 in Fiduciary Links

>>>Last week, BenefitsPro reported on a list of trends for 2014 that Fidelity’s 401(k) team believes will gain significant traction in the coming months.  That list includes: Self-directed brokerage windows.  Brokerage windows continue to grow in popularity with about 26 percent more assets in 2013 vs. 2012.  From a fiduciary prospective, we continue to be concerned about potential liability associated with providing this feature in a plan.   Roth 401(k)s.  More participants will choose this option as more plans offer it.  42 percent of 401(k) plans offered this option as of Sept. 30, 2013. This percentage...

Fiduciary Links: 401(k) trends for 2014

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Fiduciary Links: FINRA wants you to focus on your clients

Posted by fi360 Team on January 06, 2014 in Fiduciary Links

>>>>In his new Fiduciary Corner column for InvestmentNews, Blaine looks at FINRA’s recent conflicts of interest report and how the broker-dealer regulator has begun embracing fiduciary principles. Both the report and Ketchum’s comments are interesting in that they suggest broker-dealer businesses go beyond minimum regulatory thresholds and adopt a firm-wide culture for ethical and informed decision making by both advisors and their clients. This goes along with a theme we’ve been speaking on over the past few months, that despite the action or inaction of law-makers and regulators, the market...

Fiduciary Links: FINRA wants you to focus on your clients

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Fiduciary Links: DC Court Makeover May Bode Well for Fiduciary Rules in 2014

Posted by Duane Thompson on December 30, 2013 in Fiduciary Links

>>>>Lost in the shuffle earlier this month when Senate Democrats employed the so-called ‘nuclear option’ to eliminate filibusters was a significant political ‘makeover’ of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. With Republicans no longer able to block nominations for the three vacant seats there, the Obama Administration has increased the number of Democrat-appointed judges from four to six, and will likely add a seventh early next year, bringing the 11-member court to full strength. At the same time, the DC Circuit’s new makeup may...

Fiduciary Links: DC Court Makeover May Bode Well for Fiduciary Rules in 2014

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Fiduciary Links: Benchmarking & Demonstrating Value Webinar Questions Answered

Posted by fi360 Team on December 23, 2013 in Fiduciary Links

>>>>A little over two weeks ago, we hosted a webinar titled, “Benchmarking & Demonstrating Value in the Age of Reasonableness.” The webinar included insights from fi360 President Rich Lynch and Ann Schleck’s Research Analyst Matt Burt. A recording of the webinar is available in the Fiduciary Resource Center. In addition, we had a number of questions that we were unable to answer during the live session, and Mr. Burt was gracious enough to address them in the following Q&A: Q: Does Fee Benchmarker compare advisor fees vs. broker/insurance...

Fiduciary Links: Benchmarking & Demonstrating Value Webinar Questions Answered

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Fiduciary Links: Florida Court Rejects SEC Position on Broker’s ‘Solely Incidental’ Investment Advice Based on Lunar Cycles

Posted by Duane Thompson on December 16, 2013 in Fiduciary Links In the News

>>>That’s right. The headline you just read is not a typo. On December 10th, a federal court in Florida denied summary judgment in the SEC’s claim that a former dually registered broker/adviser rep violated the antifraud provisions of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (’40 Act) by allegedly perpetrating a Ponzi scheme on 14 or more investors who suffered approximately $915,000 in losses, more than 90% of the funds raised in the scheme.  The losses came from a private equity fund registered in the state of Florida as White Elephant, LLC, which Gurudeo Sukul &ldquo...

Fiduciary Links: Florida Court Rejects SEC Position on Broker’s ‘Solely Incidental’ Investment Advice Based on Lunar Cycles

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Fiduciary Links: Comments Shed Light on Future SEC Action

Posted by fi360 Team on November 25, 2013 in Fiduciary Links

>>>The SEC's Investor Advisory Committee released two recommendations last week. Most notably, they urged the SEC to go forward with fiduciary rulemaking so that anyone offering personalized investment advice would be subject to a fiduciary duty, including broker-dealers. They agreed with other arguments in support of this action that the services provided by investment advisers and broker-dealers have become increasingly similar and most investors can't recognize the differences between the two types of service providers.  Separately, the committee also came out in support of self-funding for the SEC, where advisers would...

Fiduciary Links: Comments Shed Light on Future SEC Action

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Fiduciary Links: Other People's Money

Posted by fi360 Team on November 04, 2013 in Fiduciary Links In the News

>>>Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a series of documents called "Managing Someone Else's Money." These guides are geared for those who find themselves in a fiduciary role as caretaker to the assets of a loved one, such as an aging parent or the like. The guides are meant to inform these "amateur" fiduciaries that they have real responsibilities and expectations that come with the job. CFPB's guides are based on the basic fiduciary principles of acting in the best interests of the person you are caring for, the duty of care, separate...

Fiduciary Links: Other People's Money

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Fiduciary Links: The IPS is the crucial fiduciary document

Posted by fi360 Team on October 28, 2013 in Fiduciary Links

>>>As you may have already heard, fi360 recently acquired IPS AdvisorPro, a cloud-based technology for building and maintaining investment policy statements. We obviously feel very strongly about the technology from a business perspective, but another key consideration to the acquisition was how strongly it fits from a fiduciary perspective. If you’ve ever taken an fi360 training course, you know that we regard the construction and implementation of an IPS as arguably the most important function a fiduciary performs. It forms the basis for all investment decision-making going forward and helps direct and maintain the consistency...

Fiduciary Links: The IPS is the crucial fiduciary document

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Fiduciary Links: Utopian and dystopian outlooks for the future of financial services

Posted by fi360 Team on October 21, 2013 in Fiduciary Links In the News

>>>In a column for WealthManagement.com, Matt Lynch of Tiburon Strategic Advisors shares some of his firm’s research on trends in financial services. This includes looks at the fiduciary issue, increased diversity in client base and of advisors, the wealth gap, technology, and products. He then offers two scenarios for how financial services might look in 2030. In Scenario 1, we are in a financial services utopia in which advisors have embraced the changing face of their potential client base, technology, compensation expectations, and more. They have become more specialized and client-focused so that outcomes become the...

Fiduciary Links: Utopian and dystopian outlooks for the future of financial services

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Fiduciary Links: Plan Sponsor Considerations in Changes in Retirement Plan Income Options

Posted by Kathy Stewart on October 14, 2013 in Fiduciary Links In the News Putting Process into Practice

>>>Plan participant risk can be quantifiable or behavioral, each having separate characteristics but both vital to understand.  A recent report, published by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Stanford Center on Longevity, notes that while quantifiable risks such as outliving retirement savings, market declines, inflation, and fees and expenses pose serious challenges, behavioral risk, including poor understanding, judgment, and decision-making, can be just as problematic.  See “The Next Evolution in Defined Contribution Retirement Plans – A Guide for DC Plan Sponsors To Implementing Retirement Income Programs.”  The report analyzes information on...

Fiduciary Links: Plan Sponsor Considerations in Changes in Retirement Plan Income Options

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Fiduciary Links: When clients set their own priorities, they are more likely to act

Posted by fi360 Team on October 07, 2013 in Fiduciary Links In the News

>>>Michael Kitces has a great post out this morning about helping your clients set priorities as a method for actually getting them to act. The idea comes from the behavioral issues of clients being overwhelmed by choices and ignoring recommendations that come from the advisor. Kitces points to research and suggests a process that engages the client in self-prioritizing, physically writing out steps themselves, and taking ownership of their “to-do” list as a method of incrementally working through the totality of the necessary action items. In short, if the reality is that clients either can...

Fiduciary Links: When clients set their own priorities, they are more likely to act

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Fiduciary Links: NASAA, SEC Tell Investors to Take Deeper Look at Advisor Titles

Posted by fi360 Team on September 30, 2013 in Fiduciary Links

>>>Earlier this month, theSecurities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Investor Education and Advocacy and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) issued a joint bulletin explaining that financial designations and other titles can have vastly different standards for obtaining them. The bulletin urges investors to take a close look at the titles their advisors are using, understand how difficult they were to obtain, understand what they are meant to symbolize, ensure the advisor is actually authorized to use the title, and try to make a determination as to their value to the investor. This...

Fiduciary Links: NASAA, SEC Tell Investors to Take Deeper Look at Advisor Titles

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Fiduciary Links: As Reg D Advertising Begins, FINRA Cautions Investors

Posted by Bennett Aikin on September 23, 2013 in Fiduciary Links In the News Spotlight on Designations

>>>On the same week that private placement advertising restrictions were lifted and public marketing began, FINRA took the opportunity to alert investors to the risks inherent to Regulation D investments. The alert explained how the investments differ from traditional investments and warned investors that the special risks involved must be evaluated carefully before installing the investments into a portfolio. Among the regulator's recommendations for evaluating private placements are: Learn about the company's business, the ease of access to investment information, and liquidity concerns. Expect your broker to be knowledgeable about the investment. Make sure the...

Fiduciary Links: As Reg D Advertising Begins, FINRA Cautions Investors

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Fiduciary Links: At 5-Year Mark of Lehman Bankruptcy, SEC Still Under Close Hill Scrutiny

Posted by Duane Thompson on September 16, 2013 in Fiduciary Links Legal

>>>On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 protection from bankruptcy, triggering a financial meltdown and global crisis that reverberates today.  As the news media reprises the five-year anniversary, it seems the SEC is ready to move on, although House Republicans don’t seem as ready. For one thing, enforcement cases from the financial crisis are drying up due to the five-year statute of limitations clarified by the U.S. Supreme Court this February in Gabelli v. SEC.  In the Court’s words, the “five-year clock…begins to tick when the fraud...

Fiduciary Links: At 5-Year Mark of Lehman Bankruptcy, SEC Still Under Close Hill Scrutiny

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Fiduciary Links: How to address clients who are withholding information

Posted by Bennett Aikin on August 26, 2013 in Fiduciary Links In the News

>>>A new survey from Securian Financial Group highlights the bad investor habit of withholding information from their advisors. According to the survey results, 29% of investors are withholding information that is relevant to their financial situation. Health concerns, other investments, marital problems, debts, and loans given to friends or family are among the most prevalent topics cited as being withheld. The reasons cited for withholding information are what you’d expect: feeling the information is too personal, not relevant, embarrassing, or just haven’t had the time yet. This is a big problem for a couple...

Fiduciary Links: How to address clients who are withholding information

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Fiduciary Links: Plan sponsors taking a closer look at retirement readiness

Posted by Kathy Stewart on August 12, 2013 in Fiduciary Links

>>>>Recent data suggests plan sponsors are paying more attention to the idea of "retirement readiness."  According to a survey of plan sponsors, in its 12th Annual 401(k) Benchmarking Survey conducted by Deloitte, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS), 84% of plan sponsors identified improved participant education as a focus area for their retirement plans, and approximately 78%  of plan sponsors acknowledge retirement readiness as the number one area of concern. Sponsors are actually becoming more involved with retirement readiness as the survey also found...

Fiduciary Links: Plan sponsors taking a closer look at retirement readiness

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Fiduciary Links: New studies highlight the impact of bad investor behavior

Posted by fi360 Team on August 05, 2013 in Fiduciary Links In the News

>>>> “What are the forces that will shape the future of the investment management industry over the next decade?” That’s the question used to introduce a new report from State Street that posits it is the investor who will be most influential in setting the tone going forward. For good or for bad, investors have greater access to information than ever before and, coupled with provocative headlines and chronic instability of the financial systems, that is resulting in their decision to take action. For advisors, this means a number of things. For one,...

Fiduciary Links: New studies highlight the impact of bad investor behavior

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Fiduciary Links: Comments related to the SEC’s Fiduciary Rulemaking have arrived

Posted by Rich Lynch on July 08, 2013 in Fiduciary Links

>>>>Comments related to the SEC’s request for information on “Duties of Brokers, Dealers, and Investment Advisers,” i.e., the much-awaited, potentially harmonized fiduciary standard for brokers and advisers, are the big story of the week as the SEC’s comment period came to a close on Friday.  As expected, there is a divergence of opinions and long response list that has continued to grow throughout the day, but most responses are light on data to support their point of view.  The SEC was particularly interested in data that could...

Fiduciary Links: Comments related to the SEC’s Fiduciary Rulemaking have arrived

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Fiduciary Links: ERISA 3(38) Investment Management Agreement Webinar Announced

Posted by fi360 Team on July 01, 2013 in Fiduciary Links Great Sources of Information In the News

>>>>On Thursday, July 11th, fi360 and Pioneer Investments will be hosting a webinar, ERISA 3(38) Investment Management Agreement, at 4:15 p.m. ET. The session will be led by ERISA attorney Fred Reish from Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP law firm.     Some of the topics that will be covered include the role of a 3(38) discretionary investment manager for 401(k) plans, and the protections afforded to plan sponsors and fiduciaries. The decisions that need to be made in the development of a 3(38) investment manager relationship and the unique provisions of a 3(38)...

Fiduciary Links: ERISA 3(38) Investment Management Agreement Webinar Announced

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Fiduciary Links: TDF Webinar Questions Answered

Posted by Jake Adamczyk on June 24, 2013 in Fiduciary Links

>>>>> A little over a week ago, we hosted a webinar titled, “The Case for Rethinking TDFs as QDIAs.” The webinar was based on the article by Jake Adamczyk, AIF of the same name that won our 2013 fi360 Article Competition. Mr. Adamczyk was joined by his colleague Mike McKeown of Aurum Advisory Services to discuss some of the problems with TDFs and what fiduciaries should be looking for in a QDIA. A recording of that webinar is now available in the Fiduciary Resource Center. In addition, we had a number of questions that we...

Fiduciary Links: TDF Webinar Questions Answered

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Fiduciary Links: Bogle, Schweiss, Others All Chime in on Fiduciary Standard

Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Fiduciary Links

>>>>With the deadline to the SEC’s request for information regarding the fiduciary standard quickly approaching and coinciding with a busy week for conferences and other events, the past week had a number of prominent advocates sharing their thoughts on the fiduciary standard and the outlook for regulatory reform. In general, most shared similar themes of stressing the importance to investors of a true fiduciary standard, while expressing some concern that we’re headed for a watered down or rules-based approach that lowers the bar for RIA advisors. For today’s links post,...

Fiduciary Links: Bogle, Schweiss, Others All Chime in on Fiduciary Standard

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Fiduciary Links: Most financial planning clients wish they'd had a plan sooner

Posted by Kathy Stewart on June 10, 2013 in Fiduciary Links

>>>When it comes to setting long-term goals and developing and monitoring an appropriate strategy for attaining those goals, there’s no better time than the present to get started. At least, that’s the message to take from a recent survey from deVere Group that found the greatest financial regret of their clients with at least $1 million in investable assets is “not having put in place a regularly reviewed personal financial plan earlier in life.” How to educate clients early that they too may end up with the same regret is a continual...

Fiduciary Links: Most financial planning clients wish they'd had a plan sooner

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Fiduciary Links: David Swensen is a Popular Source of Inspiration

Posted by Bennett Aikin on June 03, 2013 in Fiduciary Links

>>>On AdvisorOne last week, John Sullivan recapped a session from the FPA 2013 NorCal Conference, titled “Alternative Investing: Opportunities, Pitfalls, and an Assets Manager’s Approach." The session looked at how large endowments have found success in alternatives and the lessons advisors can take from them. Of course, large endowments, such as Yale, enjoy significant advantages based on their size that most advisors simply can’t match. However, the story concludes with the fundamental considerations to alternatives investing that are universal, regardless of size or access: As with any investment, alternatives must have a purpose...

Fiduciary Links: David Swensen is a Popular Source of Inspiration

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Fiduciary Links: Mary Jo White’s Honeymoon Short-lived?

Posted by Duane Thompson on May 20, 2013 in Fiduciary Excellence Fiduciary Links

>>>>New SEC Chairman Mary Jo White’s honeymoon with Congress may be rapidly drawing to a close. Not that it was expected to last forever.  Last week the former Wall Street lawyer, in office for only a month, testified before the House Committee on Financial Services about the need for more resources to examine investment advisers. The SEC’s fiscal year 2014 budget would add 325 IA examiners, or nearly half of all new staff hires at the Commission. About 250 of the examiners would inspect traditional advisers with the remainder focused...

Fiduciary Links: Mary Jo White’s Honeymoon Short-lived?

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Fiduciary Links: FINRA Provides Notice to Stop Misleading Investors on REITs

Posted by fi360 Team on May 06, 2013 in Fiduciary Links

>>>>FINRA has released guidance to member firms regarding how they should be communicating to investors regarding REITs and real estate direct participation programs. The memo addresses eight areas in which firms have shown deficiencies when communicating about the products: dislcosures, distribution rates, stability/volatility claims, redemption features and liquidity events, performance of prior related real estate programs, use of indices and comparisons, pictures of specific properties, and capitalization rates. In each section, the notice provides guidance for how these aspects should be communicated in a way that does not mislead investors. In addition to the specific...

Fiduciary Links: FINRA Provides Notice to Stop Misleading Investors on REITs

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Fiduciary Links: What can we read into the SEC's assumptions regarding fiduciary rule making?

Posted by fi360 Team on April 29, 2013 in Fiduciary Links In the News

>>>>The Institute for the Fiduciary Standard, an advocacy group that promotes the fiduciary standard, issued a paper that takes issue with a number of the assumptions made in the SEC’s request for data to inform potential fiduciary rulemaking.  The paper notes that the assumptions suggested in the request would indicate a severe change in how the fiduciary standard is understood. This would include increased reliance on disclosures as a means of managing conflicts of interest while also weakening the forms and methods of disclosure, allowing fiduciary duty to be waived, redefines the duty...

Fiduciary Links: What can we read into the SEC's assumptions regarding fiduciary rule making?

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Fiduciary Links: Fiduciary of the Year and Article Competition Winners Announced

Posted by fi360 Team on April 22, 2013 in fi360 Conference Fiduciary Excellence Fiduciary Links What's new at fi360?

>>>>Last week's fi360 Conference was the occasion for the announcement of two awards of distinction for investment management fiduciaries: The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard's Fiduciary of the Year and the winner of the fi360-AdvisorOne Article Competition.     Eugene F. Maloney, Executive Vice President and Corporate Counsel of Federated Investors, Inc., was named Fiduciary of the Year by the Committee for the Fiduciary Standard.  Mr. Maloney is widely known in the financial services industry as an advocate for fiduciary responsibility and as a resource for fiduciaries and investment advisors nationally.  ...

Fiduciary Links: Fiduciary of the Year and Article Competition Winners Announced

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Fiduciary Links: fi360 Insights Conference Week

Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Fiduciary Links

>>>>It’s fi360 Conference week once again! The fi360 team has already begun arriving in Scottsdale and our pre-conference training sessions have already begun. The conference itself begins in earnest on Wednesday afternoon with attendee checkin and the evening networking reception. That’s followed by two days of educational content on Thursday and Friday. Our two general sessions this year are Nate Silver and a panel of fiduciary experts, including our own CEO Blaine Aikin, Ron Rhoades of Alfred State College, and Skip Schweiss from TD Ameritrade. Nate Silver will be doing a session...

Fiduciary Links: fi360 Insights Conference Week

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Fiduciary Links: SEC Makes it Hard to Read Fiduciary Tea Leaves in Data Request

Posted by on March 18, 2013 in Fiduciary Links

>>>>On March 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission released a much-anticipated request for cost-benefits data in connection with a possible uniform fiduciary rule for brokers and advisers. By requesting data, many observers had hoped that the assumptions used would reveal the SEC’s thinking on the rule’s parameters. Anticipating such speculation, the release relies heavily on disclaimers to discourage any notion that the assumptions for a fiduciary standard and rules harmonizing broker and adviser regulation suggest the agency's future course of action. Where the SEC release makes assumptions it provides no less than 10...

Fiduciary Links: SEC Makes it Hard to Read Fiduciary Tea Leaves in Data Request

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Fiduciary Links: SEC Taking Closer Look at Custody Issues Due to Early Findings

Posted by fi360 Team on March 11, 2013 in Fiduciary Links In the News Regulatory Update

>>>The SEC issued a risk alert last week that highlights a number of deficiencies under the Advisers Act custody rule that have been encountered as part of recent adviser examinations (see the InvestmentNews summary). These include a number of scenarios where the adviser doesn’t realize that it has custody, failing to file for an annual surprise audit of custody practices, client notification problems, commingling problems, problems with audit procedures, and other problems. From an investor protection standpoint, the SEC is mostly concerned with stopping any new Madoffs from happening by keeping a closer eye on...

Fiduciary Links: SEC Taking Closer Look at Custody Issues Due to Early Findings

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Fiduciary Links: Announcing the fi360 Article Competition, and the Fiduciary Survey

Posted by on March 04, 2013 in Fiduciary Links What's new at fi360?

Enter our annual fi360-AdvisorOne Article Competition, and participate in the Fiduciary Survey.

Fiduciary Links: Announcing the fi360 Article Competition, and the Fiduciary Survey

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Fiduciary Links: Take the Third Annual fi360-AdvisorOne.com Fiduciary Standard Survey

Posted by fi360 Team on February 26, 2013 in Fiduciary Links What's new at fi360?

fi360 and AdvisorOne.com have just launched our third annual Fiduciary Standard Survey. The survey is open to all types of financial advisors and seeks to find how well advisors understand the fiduciary standard of care, how they feel about the standard, and how those attitudes are evolving over time.

Fiduciary Links: Take the Third Annual fi360-AdvisorOne.com Fiduciary Standard Survey

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Fiduciary Links: New fiduciary champion on Senate Banking Committee?

Posted by Bennett Aikin on February 20, 2013 in Fiduciary Links

>>>Last Thursday, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing on the progress of Wall Street Reform. The hearing featured leaders from seven regulatory agencies and made headlines as Elizabeth Warren’s first chance to grill regulators as a senator. The clearest fiduciary angle, though, comes from the testimony of SEC Chairman Elisse Walter. The InvestmentNews story of the hearing recaps Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) pressing Ms. Walter on fiduciary rulemaking. The article rightly points out that with nearly 100 mandatory Dodd-Frank rules at hand, progress is slow. Ms. Walter, for...

Fiduciary Links: New fiduciary champion on Senate Banking Committee?

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