Inside Information Archives 2017

DISCLAIMER: This document has not been approved, disapproved, or otherwise acted upon by any senior technical committees, and does not represent an official position of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. It is distributed with the understanding that the contributing authors and editors, and the publisher, are not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

Note: Access to Inside Information is a benefit of PFP/PFS membership, which is an individual membership. If your peers would like access to this newsletter service, they can either purchase directly from Bob Veres or sign up for PFP membership.

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2017

December 2017 In this issue...

  • How are advisors planning for the next major downturn—whenever it may come?
  • Practice Marketing: Are you in a marketing slump? Try podcasting.
  • Client Services: Veralytic lets you apply fiduciary standards to your life insurance recommendations.
  • Practice Management: A new coaching program is designed for the underserved lifestyle planning practice.
  • Parting Thoughts: Is the SEC an effective regulator or a hindrance?

Inside Information: Are you Preparing for a Downturn?

November 2017 In this issue...

  • Big Opportunities in Data: Danielle Fava opens up a window into how big data is changing our lives and our practices. 
  • Practice Management: How to create a true culture of compliance. 
  • The Profession: FinFolio's novel approach to client investment performance tracking and reporting. 
  • Client Services: Bob Keebler offers guidance on how to prepare your clients for the coming new tax regime.
  • Parting Thoughts: The SEC is the stealth enemy of real professionalism.

October 2017 In this issue...

  • Power Practice Management: Learn to develop leaders, and recognize that retaining employees means creating a great work culture.
  • Practice Management: How to create a true culture of compliance. 
  • Client Services: Now you can offer professional advice through the complexities of Medicare, with the help of the new i65 tool.
  • Parting Thoughts: There may never be a better time to engage the states and NASAA members on model fiduciary and financial planning regulation. 

Inside Information: Medicare Planning in a Box

September 2017 In this issue...

  • The Awful Consequences of Non-Fiduciary Advice
  • Portfolio Management: A free website helps clients understand the value of diversification, and lets you explore choices.
  • Client Services: The new Whealthcare tool makes end of life planning easy.
  • Parting Thoughts: Can we define fiduciary recommendations under DOL as something other than simply index funds and ETFs? And let's force CFP advisors to disclose if they're arguing in arbitration that they're just sales agents. 

August 2017  In this issue...

  • Quantifying Your Value: We now have an inventory of what financial planners are charging their clients. But what is the value of what they're providing?
  • Practice Management:  The new value proposition for clients, and the software challenge for advisors.
  • Practice Management: Tips and techniques to help you build and manage a top-level operations team.
  • Parting Thoughts: Muchneeded clarity on how a fiduciary standard relates to active portfolio management. And: A more emotional value statement for financial planners to use in talking with clients. 

July 2017  In this issue...

  • A Stand for Fiduciary: Here’s a brief tour of the Code of Ethics and Practice Standards for CFP Professionals.
  • Management Power Tools: Here's a first look at Pershing Advisor Solutions' new Assessment and Metrics evaluators, and how they can turn novice managers into pros.
  • Life Management Portals: The traditional client portal--for performance statements--is morphing into something much more useful and comprehensive.
  • Parting Thoughts: Conflicts in the “News” 

Inside Information: Life Management Portals

June 2017
  In this issue ...

  • Fiduciary VAs?: A traditional life insurance company has introduced a line of fee-only variable annuities for fiduciary advisors to consider.
  • Investing: Warning signs that a bear market may be closer than we might expect.
  • Investing: Don Phillips talks about his career--and how the fund industry has become so prosperous.
  • Practice Management: How to set and achieve personal and team goals.
  • Parting Thoughts: The power of coaching is the awesome power of human potential 

Inside Information: Setting and Achieving

Inside Information:  2017 Planning Profession Fee Survey

May 2017
  In this issue...

  • An App for That: Inside Information readers offer their favorite nontraditional software programs and apps for productivity and efficiency
  • Blueleaf: On-demand client performance reports
  • Assemblage: Automated PDF Collating
  • File This: The automated statement grabber
  • BaseCamp and Process-Composer: Create and install workflows
  • PreciseFP: Eliminate redundant keyboarding
  • Parting Thoughts: Our cyborg future

April 2017 In this issue...

  • The Millennial Model: Here are two advisors who are figuring out how to provide financial planning services—profitably—to clients that other firms are turning away.
  • Client Services: The case for HELOCs.
  • Practice Management: A very expensive lesson.
  • Estate Planning: Beware VAs in IRAs.
  • Practice Management: A new cybersecurity tool.
  • Client Services: The charitable inheritance.
  • Parting Thoughts: Fiduciary for CFPs?

March 2017 In this issue...

  • A quick review of the tech world on display at the T3 Advisor Conference.
  • Conferences: Practice conscious simplicity, and prepare yourself for exponential growth and a lot of disruption in the American economy. 
  • Portfolio Management: First Ascent Asset Management is doing something truly revolutionary: following a new trend in the advisor space.
  • Parting Thoughts: The debate over "fake" vs. "real" news is playing with fire in our society--not to mention denigrating my profession.

February 2017 In this issue...

  • The Great Stall (and Our Invisible Obstacles): What has caused the profession’s growth to suddenly slow down? Stephanie Bogan and an all-star cast of consultants offer their analysis.
  • Practice Management: Prominent consultants offer their prescriptions for The Great Stall
  • Conferences: Highlights of the AICPA Personal Financial Planning Summit.
  • Parting Thoughts: SIFMA and other sales organizations confirm that they're in the sales business, on the record.

January 2017  In this issue...

 

  • Inefficient Market Theory: active fund manager are quietly talking about the best investing environment of their careers.  Credit the fund flows into ETFs and passive investments.
  • Practice Management: How to use engagement standards with clients, your business and practically anything else.
  • Client Services: A truly holistic financial planning service includes coaching and career asset management.
  • Parting Thoughts: How we're winning the big war behind all the battles that our profession has been losing.

DISCLAIMER: This document has not been approved, disapproved, or otherwise acted upon by any senior technical committees, and does not represent an official position of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. It is distributed with the understanding that the contributing authors and editors, and the publisher, are not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

Note: Access to Inside Information is a benefit of PFP/PFS membership, which is an individual membership. If your peers would like access to this newsletter service, they can either purchase directly from Bob Veres or sign up for PFP membership.

Return to current issues

 2016  

December 2016 In this issue...
  • Fee-Only Prosperity: CEO of the U.K.'s equivalent of FINRA says that his country's fee-only advice environment has actually been quite good for business.
  • Conferences: Practical insights into how to build your emotional intelligence.
  • Practice Management: How to merge ops teams and build ops leadership.
  • Client Services: Helping clients prepare for a variety of end-of-life issues.
  • Parting Thoughts: Julie Littlechild's new book offers some insights into how to recapture the passion and job satisfaction that fuels the profession.

November 2016 In this issue...
  • Masterful Delegation: Chances are, the traits that enabled you to build a successful practice will make it harder for you to leverage your skills as the practice becomes a business.
  • Practice Management: Under DOL, even fee-only fiduciaries have to change how they work with clients.
  • Client Services: How one advisor created a support group to help people overcome the trauma of retirement.
  • Estate Planning: Most clients will need income tax planning for their estates.
  • Parting Thoughts: The real value of journalism is surprisingly structured like the best financial planning.

October 2016 In this issue...
  • The Engagement Revolution: A variety of trends are telling us that something needs to change. Here’s not only what, but how.
  • Practice Management: True North Consultants is fighting a long, hard battle against ransomware.
  • The Profession: The HIFON study group for operations professionals is an endless source of insight and answers.
  • Parting Thoughts: Should the CFP Board rethink its boundaries on issuing CE credits?

September 2016 In this issue...

  • Unintended Custody: A clause in many custodial account agreements could have some troubling ramifications for your RIA firm.
  • LTCI Revisited: A new LTC contract has come on the market that might answer some client objections about cost and stability. 
  • Linking Planning and Financial Organization: Planners who use eMoney Advisor say they’re able to develop deeper, stickier relationships with their clients.
  • The Trust Opportunity: Financial planners can help their clients shift from an 800-number service relationship to personal service on their trust assets—and pay less in the bargain.
  • Parting Thoughts: Recovering the Passion-It seems clear that the powerful driving passion that created the profession has suddenly gone missing in action at two of the three financial planning-oriented membership organizations.

August 2016 In this issue...
  • Waiting at the Door: Most planning firms seem to be hesitant about adopting robo-technology. But the waiting period is about to end.
  • Practice Management: Joel Bruckenstein discusses the obstacles to implementing robotechnology.
  • Practice Management: What technologies are the Millennial planners using?
  • The Profession: Take the test with your merger partner--and then prepare for a deeper dive into who you both are.
  • Parting Thoughts: The new FINRA chair may already be embarrassed by the organization's consumer protections.

July 2016  In this issue....
  • Ops Productivity: Instead of looking at the completion time of tasks, look at more subjective measures, like affirmatively searching for opportunities for process improvement and a passion for client service.
  • Practice Management: Managing your equity by Tim Kochis. Managing your cash from Max My Interest. Better screening tools from YCharts.
  • Client Services: A tool that helps you manage taxes as you provide distribution advice in retirement, and potentially save your clients millions.
  • Parting Thoughts: We're getting some very conflicted advice about how to handle conflicts of interest in light of the new DOL fiduciary rule.

June 2016 In this issue...
  • Portfolio Co-Creation Synopsis: Gibson Capital is developing a set of portfolio design tools that will help you collaborate with clients on their investment allocations.
  • Practice Management: Two new apps and a software system that will handle many compliance chores.
  • Client Services: How to provide special needs planning, and where to find help and guidance if you need it.
  • Parting Thoughts: How to sift through the nonsense coming out around the DOL's fiduciary rule, and a suggestion that the brokerage firms and BDs follow through on their promise not to work with smaller accounts.

May 2016 In this issue...
  • The Barriers in Your Future: A tour of the lifecycle of most financial planning firms, and how to negotiate the tough parts of the journey.
  • Practice Management: Insights from the SSG conference and elsewhere.
  • Investing: Looking for a new client niche? Consider public school employees.
  • Marketing: Introducing the most advisor-friendly 529 plan in the country.
  • Parting Thoughts: The DOL's principles-based fiduciary rule could set a trend: principles-based laws and regs, saving us millions of pages of paperwork.

April 2016  In this issue...
  • Talent Search: The planning profession is facing a huge recruiting challenge. Here are some of the best practices for winning your share of the talent.
  • Practice Management: How to master the financial metrics that are becoming an increasingly important tool for managing your firm.
  • Investing: Has something fundamentally changed about the commodities asset class?
  • Marketing: Introducing econometric marketing.
  • Parting Thoughts: A financial planner is running for Congress, hoping to give the profession a voice in public policy debates and create a financial plan for America.

March 2016  In this issue...
  • Software 2.0: The new breed of intelligence-enhanced software isn’t a threat; it’s simply the next evolution of tools to enhance your efficiency and top-line revenues.
  • Practice Management: Finance the first successor equity purchase at your advisory firm through a new program at Live Oak Bank
  • Conferences: TD Ameritrade is changing the conversation about advisors vs. brokers
  • Practice Management: Advyzon combines CRM, portfolio management and planning in one software package
  • Parting Thoughts: When is the SEC going to shut down the brokerage world's shameful shell game?

February 2016  In this issue...
  • Out of the Box and On the Money: Here’s a fresh look at how to keep clients on track for retirement, and keep them from overspending once they get there.
  • Investing: Max My Interest and Performance Trust have introduced new versions of their services for the RIA/planning community
  • Client Services: An inexpensive way to delegate complex Social Security planning--and the actual paperwork
  • Practice Management: How hard is it to convert years of client performance data?
  • Parting Thoughts: The next few years could represent the growth opportunity of a lifetime for your firm.

January 2016  In this issue...
  • The New Hub of Planning Academia: The CFP Board’s new Center for Financial Planning has been touted as a diversity initiative.  Here’s what’s really going on.
  • Cleaning Your Tank: How do you create a healthy, productive work environment?  Hint: It’s not all about the compensation.
  • Parting Thoughts: The best financial planning-related books of the year