Two major US annuity issuers, Nationwide Advisory Solutions and Great American Life, have launched web-based tools for registered investment advisors and their clients that offer the ability to run Monte Carlo simulations. Nationwide's platform includes tax deferral and annuity comparison calculators, while Great American's platform focuses on indexed annuities.
A report from Mercer showed the funding level of S&P 1500 company pension plans was unchanged in June because of an increase in discount rates, but offset by declines in international equity markets. With discount rates moving steadily higher, the option of transferring pension liabilities from company balance sheets to annuities is becoming more attractive, said Mercer's Scott Jarboe.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said its Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations has found widespread failure by advisors to comply with their obligation to obtain the best execution for clients' transactions. The alert also said failure to disclose soft-dollar arrangements is an issue.
Average assets of registered investment advisors' clients exceeded $2 million in 2017 for firms with assets under management exceeding $250 million, according to a study by Charles Schwab. The 2017 figure is the highest per-client amount since Schwab began collecting such data in 2006.
Customizing digital efforts so they are more focused on clients rather than products is the way of the future, experts told attendees of a recent conference. To do so, companies need to aggregate financial data and other factors including health, life stage, education, profession and goals, said Anton Honikman of MyVest.
Advisors can overcome common objections from prospects and clients "by disrupting the person's thought process by minimizing their fear and maximizing the value of moving forward," suggests sales coach Jeb Blount. The attention should be focused on prospective clients' interests, including their story and their goals for the future, he notes.
One of the most compelling reasons to invest in companies that put an emphasis on diversity is that evidence shows diverse teams are more creative and more likely to reach short- and long-term goals, writes Betsy Moszeter, chief operating officer of Green Alpha Advisors. She adds that firms can give themselves a competitive boost by bringing on diverse employees and "giving them ample support and influence."
Happiness and success mean different things to different people, and we may need to rethink how we view them if we hope to achieve them and help clients achieve them as well, writes FPA's Dan Martin. He cautions that putting these two priorities in the wrong order could cause us to lose both and explains why we should think about happiness before success.
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has resigned, saying he disagrees with the approach Prime Minister Theresa May is taking to the UK's withdrawal from the EU. The resignation of Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis create "ongoing uncertainty which we and the rest of the financial services community have been asking for an end to," AIMA CEO Jack Inglis said.
Existing derivatives contracts "can generally continue" after Brexit, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis says. Dombrovskis has downplayed the Bank of England's suggestion many contracts are at risk, saying analysis "suggests that preparedness by market participants can go a long way to mitigate the impact of Brexit."
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