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Managing a Practice

Managing a Practice covers the ways that advisors can profitably and successfully run their businesses. It includes practical topics like business systems, advisor fees and client services, as well as professional development and growth strategies. Also covered are overall industry trends and ethics and compliance, as well the various service providers and vendors that advisors partner with to build, grow and manage their practices.

Managing a Practice

Managing a Practice

By Fred Barstein8/23/2013 • 0 Comments

Recent M&A data for RIA firms show that while overall deal flow is down, according to both Schwab and Pershing, M&A activity is being driven by RIA shops buying colleagues, not by large consolidators. RIA-to-RIA deals accounted for 58% of the transactions, according to Pershing, up from just 37% in 2012, while 25% of the deals were completed by consolidators, down from 29% last year. READ MORE

By John Ortman8/22/2013 • 0 Comments

Employees today are relying more on their employers and demanding more from them. As a result, many larger employers have raised the bar for their DC plans. The result: more pressure on plan advisors and providers to establish and maintain a proactive relationship. While plan sponsors are quite satisfied with their plan providers these days, few indicate that they are receiving a proactive level of service from them. The same can be said with regard to plan advisors and consultants, a new study by JP. Morgan Asset Management found. READ MORE

By Jennifer McKibben8/8/2013 • 0 Comments

A recent survey found that the percentage of companies participating in the survey that offer retiree health benefits dropped from 32% in 2007 to 25% in 2012. (Other surveys have reported much lower numbers.) As retiree health benefits continue to wane, advisors are stepping in to provide guidance and advice to their near-retiree clients on making good choices about health care in retirement. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein8/5/2013 • 0 Comments

With more and more wirehouse and regional reps turning to a fee-based financial planning model, experts say it’s getting harder for RIAs to distinguish themselves. Even if these reps are not acting as fiduciaries, there’s a huge challenge for RIAs to separate themselves from reps with the same business model. READ MORE

By Andy Stonehouse7/26/2013 • 0 Comments

Feeling a bit like you've got 404a-5 participant fee disclosure overload? You're not alone. But as the rules are indeed on the books, you're going to have to learn how to deal with them. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/26/2013 • 1 Comments

As NAPA’s 1st Annual DC Fly-in Forum approaches on Sept. 17-18, many top DC Congressional leaders and policymakers have agreed to speak, with more expected. READ MORE

By Andrew Remo7/25/2013 • 0 Comments

On Tuesday, July 24, the Aspen Institute’s Initiative on Financial Security organized a briefing for congressional staff to discuss how reforming the tax code could affect the retirement security of Americans. READ MORE

By Fred Reish7/24/2013 • 1 Comments

The Office of Management and Budget has posted that it received a proposed regulation from the Department of Labor. Unfortunately, it is not the much-anticipated proposed regulation on fiduciary advice. READ MORE

By Marcus Chandler7/24/2013 • 0 Comments

It goes without saying that good references can be an invaluable resource to help you close new business. But it is those situations where prospects are on the fence about making a change and hiring you – or when you are in a close competitive bid situation with other retirement practices – where references can play a critical deciding role. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/24/2013 • 0 Comments

People are watching the Detroit bankruptcy filing carefully, wondering whether it is the start of a trend for other cities and municipalities in financial trouble – many driven by underfunded pension plans. Many state and local pensions have either invested poorly or have not realistically calculated their liabilities using fuzzy math. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/22/2013 • 0 Comments

If you’re looking for retirement and medical benefits, it’s better to work for larger companies or state and local entities, according to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report covering data through March 2013. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/19/2013 • 0 Comments

As part of the deal struck by Senate Democrats with Senate Republicans to fast-track a handful of the president’s nominations, Thomas Perez was confirmed July 18 as the new Secretary of Labor. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/1/2013 • 0 Comments

In a new package of rules filed by FINRA with the SEC, gone is the previously proposed requirement that broker dealers supervise non-securities-related businesses — apparently as a result of industry protests. FINRA was quick to point out that registered reps will still be held to high standards under the current Rule 2010. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/27/2013 • 2 Comments

According to research by Cerulli, the headcount for advisors dropped 1.3% in 2012 — a trend that’s expected to continue through 2016. Combined with the fact that the average age for advisors is 51, with 68 the age they expect to retire, you can begin to see the problem. After the recession, wire houses, which have the most robust training programs, were forced to back off, with some senior executives questioning the efficacy of a program that has only a 40-50% success rate. That low rate may explain why fewer college grads are becoming advisors, even though it’s cited as a top career path. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/27/2013 • 0 Comments

Concerns among employees about their retirement security create an opportunity for advisors to be more competitive, asserts a white paper from ADP that also offers some simple solutions. In addition, ADP has created an infographic that highlights some key data on this issue. READ MORE

By Rick Meigs6/26/2013 • 0 Comments

Tom Clark at FRA/PlanTools has spent considerable time and energy delving into and analyzing the DOL's Form 5500 database for usable prospecting information. He shared some insights and tips that I think you will find useful in your business development efforts. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/24/2013 • 0 Comments

The Schlichter law firm strikes again in a $35 million settlement involving Cigna. Participants in Cigna’s own 401(k) plan filed suit against both the company and Prudential, which bought Cigna’s retirement business in 2004 for more than $2 billion. Cigna’s own plan was the largest plan in the book. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/24/2013 • 1 Comments

The New York Times took up 401(k) fees in a recent lead article that highlighted lawsuits, especially the 15 cases brought by Jerome Schlichter, as well as last year’s DOL fee disclosure regulations. Stating the obvious —that fees make a difference—the Times calculated that a $25,000 account gaining 7% per year would be 39% higher if fees are just .5% lower. Perhaps prompting the article is Schlichter’s just-filed $35 million settlement of Cigna’s 401(k) participants’ case against Cigna and Prudential. READ MORE

By John Ortman6/18/2013 • 0 Comments

Now that the back end of the record keeping business is fully commoditized, a significant portion of the competition for business is now based on fees for services. This is never a good sign — just ask your friends in the airline industry. As a result, record keepers need to start articulating their value to better differentiate themselves — a need that Sungard’s Greg Clark highlights as the Number 1 issue facing the industry today. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/17/2013 • 1 Comments

Who are the top 10 DC record keepers? This question and others are answered in the PlanSponsor’s 2012 annual survey now in its 15th year. Along with top 401(k) record keepers, the top 403(b), 457, ESOP and Non-Qualified providers are listed along with those that have the most assets and participants per plan. READ MORE

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