FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for financial advisors.
Americans think wedding costs are getting out of control (COUNTRY Financial)
The average cost of a wedding was just under $30,000 in 2015, and the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index shows that 86% of Americans think that amount is too much. Moreover, 77% of couples think it’s unacceptable for a couple to go into debt just to cover the cost of a wedding.
“Start saving as soon as you know a wedding is in the future,” said Troy Frerichs, director of wealth management at COUNTRY Financial. “Establishing a wedding fund will allow you to effectively budget, avoid taking on significant debts and could ensure your other financial obligations don’t get off track.””
Notably, 73% of women said they would be “accepting of a used engagement ring,” but only 55% of American men said they would probably consider buying a used ring if it cost 50% less. Overall, 28% of respondents think that one month’s take-home pay is a “reasonable” amount to spend on a ring.
A new study from BankRate.com found that Americans’ financial security is at its lowest point in 19 months. Moreover, 31% of respondents said they feel less comfortable with their savings now than a year ago.
“A key reason why Americans aren’t feeling as rosy about their finances is stagnant income,” said Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate.com’s Chief Financial Analyst. “Although the market continues to add more jobs, with the supply of workers in many fields outweighing the demand, there have been fewer pay raises.”
Earnings season is a marathon… not a sprint (Charles Schwab)
“The earnings season can be like finishing a marathon. Just as the number of marathon finishers surges then drops off as each half hour mark passes, the surge in earnings estimates often drops off after each quarter ends,” writes Jeffrey Kleintop.
“The psychology of runners’ targeting a certain time and wanting to finish before the start of the next half hour increment passes suggests that missing the target carries a sense of failure. Perhaps the same motivation leads corporate leaders to lower expectations for earnings during the reporting season to avoid the risk of failing to meet the target.”
Bank of America Merrill Lynch hired nine brokers who managed over $1.5 billion in client assets last month, reports Michael Wursthorn.
“Merrill has been coping with a declining head count in recent quarters, with most of the departures tied to brokers who were based in the U.S. but handled a large number of clients overseas,” Wursthorn notes.
Summit Capital joins forces with Merriman Wealth (InvestmentNews)
Seattle-based Summit Capital Management, which has $520 million in assets, is merging with RIA Merriman Wealth Management, reports Christine Idzelis.
“The acquisition is the first for Merriman since the firm joined Focus Financial Partners’ network of RIAs in December 2012,” she added.