July 5, 2015

Fiduciary

The difference between fiduciaries and other financial advisors is that fiduciaries are bound by a code of ethics. Don't make the mistake of choosing the wrong one or trusting your financial advisor with too much. Read David John Marotta's series Safeguarding Your Money to make sure your finances are well protected.

Looking Beyond the Bottom Line

Looking Beyond the Bottom Line

The Principles for Responsible Investment is leveraging its network in noteworthy ways.

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Three Insights About Bad 401(k) Plans From Recent Lawsuit

Three Insights About Bad 401(k) Plans From Recent Lawsuit

“America’s leader in financial planning” is ill-serving its own employees.

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Cost-Benefit Analysis for Financial Planning

Cost-Benefit Analysis for Financial Planning

The cost of commission-based advisors are so hidden that you may be paying more than you realize.

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Investors Greatly Undervalue Safeguarding Their Money

Investors Greatly Undervalue Safeguarding Their Money

Ten principles of safeguarding your money applied to the latest investment scandal.

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Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Services Not Provided

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Services Not Provided

A computer algorithm cannot help you with these things.

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Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Incomplete Rebalancing Algorithm

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios

See our review of the two pros and nine cons of how Schwab monitors and rebalances portfolios.

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Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Built on a Faulty Premise

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Built on a Faulty Premise

It is a great marketing campaign, and the service is a wonderful idea, but the asset allocations of SIPs aren’t actually that intelligent.

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Vanguard Sends A Letter To Directors, Will A Stick Follow?

Vanguard Sends A Letter To Directors, Will A Stick Follow?

A board of directors is supposed to be accountable to the shareholders but sometimes they need a reminder.

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Are Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) Funds Better Investments?

Are Socially Responsible Investing Funds Better Investments?

“What do you think of the idea of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) implemented simply by investing in something like the Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)?”

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Did Obama Violate an SEC Regulation?

Did Obama Violate an SEC Regulation?

From the blind eye of the law, this seems like a violation of SEC regulation.

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Garrett Planning Network SEC Anti-Testimonial Violation

Garrett Planning Network

We expect the Garrett Planning Network to quickly take down these SEC violations from their website in response.

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Sheryl Garrett Should Have Distanced Herself From Obama Like The AARP

Sheryl Garrett Should Have Distanced Herself From Obama Like The AARP

It isn’t too late to print a retraction.

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There Are No Such Things As “Fiduciary Rules”

There Are No Such Things As "Fiduciary Rules"

The principles of a fiduciary cannot be condensed into a set of rules.

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Are CEOs Talented or Just Lucky?

Are CEOs Talented or Just Lucky?

The legal defense of Harold Hamm hinged on the belief that his wealth was the result of happenstance.

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What Does It Mean To Be A Fee-Only Fiduciary?

What Does It Mean To Be A Fee-Only Fiduciary?

Most investors are not aware of an important separation in the professionals of the financial services industry.

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Dr. Seuss to Zombie Directors – Will You Please Go Now!

Dr. Suess to Zombie Directors

In theory, the directors of a corporation are hired to provide independent oversight and protect shareholder interests. In practice, they’ve developed a reputation as country club chums with the executive managers.

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What Is The Alternative To An Annuity?

Question hole

An immediate fixed annuity is not an investment; it is an insurance product.

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Other People’s Property

Corporate Governance

Investors have every right to question whether a fund company can cast an impartial vote.

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Fiduciary Fight Part 5: Lobbyists Won’t Help

Fiduciary Fight

“We’d be fools to underestimate their tenacity and creativity when it comes to protecting their executive bonus pools.”

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Fiduciary Fight Part 4: Fiduciary Oath

Fiduciary Fight

“Take a version of this fiduciary oath to the brokers down the street and ask them to sign it. If they refuse, ask why.”

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Fiduciary Fight Part 3: Distinguish Between Brokers And Advisors

Fiduciary Fight

I love that Bob Veres thinks that labeling someone as a broker or advisor would help bring clarity. It shows his optimism.

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Jorge Posada And Jose Contreras Failed To Safeguard Their Finances

Jorge Posada And Jose Contreras Failed To Safeguard Their Finances

Their attorney, New York-based Barry Lax, says the two ballplayers are the latest professional athletes abused by predatory financial advisors.

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Fiduciary Fight Part 2: Additional Congressional Regulatory Oversight Can’t Be Trusted

Fiduciary Fight

Congress cannot protect you from the financial sharks who contribute to their campaigns, but they may protect the sharks.

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Fiduciary Fight Part 1: The Fight Over The Fiduciary Label

Fiduciary Fight

The fight is on! Everyone wants to be known as a fiduciary, but not everyone deserves the title.

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Planning Clients Often Don’t Get What They Pay For

Sad Stop

While I agree with the study, I don’t know that I agree with the prescribed solutions suggested.

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Achieving Financial Peace Of Mind

Peaceful Sleeping

One goes to bed, while the other sits down to manage the family finances.

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Most Americans Want Financial Advice From Humans

Wise Old Owl

An article title caught my eye recently: “Survey: Most Americans want financial advice from humans.”

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Failed Experiment at the SEC

Chaos Lab

Those who don’t understand or experience regulatory capture wrongly believe in a team of angels at these federal agencies tirelessly working for the common good.

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SEC Q&A: What should I do if the financial professional claims that he or she is “certified”?

Golden Champaign Glass

We believe that NAPFA advisors are a well sought minority of financial advisors.

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What Is The Most Important Attribute When Hiring An Investment Manager?

Mercat

Do you want to trust your advisor is acting in your best interests or do you want them to have the legal obligation and be free of commission-based conflicts of interest?

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SEC Q&A: How do I find out whether an investment adviser ever had problems with a government regulator or has a disciplinary history?

Golden Glasses

You can get copies of Form ADV by accessing the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) website.

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SEC Q&A: How do investment advisers get paid?

Three Glasses

How your advisor is compensated matters. Make sure you can follow the money and know how they are getting paid.

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How Can I Tell Who Is Associated With A Broker-Dealer?

Pigs

If your advisor is on one of these lists you should be aware of how they are paid.

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Should I Tender My Allergan Shares To Valeant Pharmaceuticals?

Allergan

Perhaps they should make this into a mini-series.

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SEC Q&A: What questions should I ask when choosing an investment adviser or financial planner?

Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor

Here are our answers and comments to the SEC’s eight suggested questions.

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FINRA Supports Regulation to Quell Competition

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Beware of government regulation, especially when a portion of the industry thinks it’ll be good for business.

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Study on Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers

Wolf

These are the wolves of Wall Street pretending to be the helpful sheep of investment advisors.

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SEC Q&A: What is the difference between an investment adviser and a financial planner?

Glasses of Gold Growth

This is why we call ourselves comprehensive wealth managers.

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What Benchmark Should I Measure My Return Against?

Bad Benchmarking

Don’t let the noise of random returns ruin a brilliant investment strategy.

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Advisers Worry About Potential Costs Of Third-Party Exams

Hungry Fox

“Estimates range from $5,000 to $20,000; sharp opposition to Finra getting involved.”

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Investment Advisors vs. Brokers

Lock and Gold Coins

Low risk firms should be visited less frequently by the SEC.

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What Is A “Margin Alert”?

Schwab Margin Alerts

There are five types of Schwab Margin Alerts: Margin Maintenance, Short Position, Trade Debit Due, Margin Debit Balance / Account hold Value Advantage, and Trade Settlement Violation

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Mutual Funds Offer Good Governance Assistance

my fund voted

Investing in mutual funds and ETFs offers an efficient solution for investors to engage in corporate governance issues. When you purchase a fund, you authorize fund managers to vote proxies on your behalf.

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Five Unbelievable Financial Advisor Regulations

gavel_t

To comply, most firms must archive and report massive amounts of information. Here are five of the more interesting regulations.

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How To Tell If Your Financial Advisor Is Really “Fee-Only”

IARD

Many will mislead you into thinking they are “fee-only” when they are not.

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Obama’s myRA Plan Violates Multiple ERISA Laws

Go to jail

Willful violations of ERISA legislation carry criminal penalties of up to a year in prison for the plan sponsor and a fine of up to $100,000 for the corporation.

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Opening A Brokerage Account

Stone grid

Opening an account is the first step in getting started in investing.

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The Importance Of The Investment Policy Statement

Scarecrow overboard

Adherence to the fiduciary standard is all about process.

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The Truth About Annuities

Shocked

Most financial planning articles about annuities pull their punches.

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Hedge Fund Advice In One Word: Don’t

Wall Street Sky

The documents where you can review 20 key issues looking for 10 red flags, or…

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