FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for financial advisors.
Most Americans Are Totally Clueless About Retirement (Investment News)
“In a recent survey by The American College of Financial Services, only 20% of those surveyed can pass a basic quiz on the steps they need to secure their finances after retiring,” reports Bianca Flowers.
Most Americans don’t have a proper understanding of the risks associated with common stocks and bonds, and the two-thirds of Americans don’t know about the 4% safe-withdrawal rate rule.
Oddly enough, 91% of those survey were at least “moderately confident” in their ability to save for retirement. In other words, there’s a huge disconnect between what they think they know and what they know.
Plunging Oil Prices Could Hurt The Muni Market (Charles Schwab)
Falling oil prices could hurt municipal bonds, and local governments, where oil and gas are big parts of the economy, will be more seriously affected than states, according to Schwab analysts.
“[L]ocal governments may suffer due to a potential decline in employment and the lost revenues associated with oil and gas production,” writes Cooper J Howard and Rob Williams. “This can affect bondholders because shrinking revenue leaves less financial flexibility to meet debt payments.”
That being said, the overall muni market should not be drastically affected, according to Schwab analysts, but “investors should consider the risks of owning bonds issued by smaller local governments.”
A Coalition Wants More Regulation For Financial Planners (Financial Advisor Magazine)
The Financial Planning Coalition is pushing for more regulation across the board for financial planners. According to the coalition, the average person doesn’t know what they’re paying for and believes that the adviser is always acting with the investor’s interest at hand.
“What we want to see are regulatory standards that would require financial planners to meet competency and ethical standards,” said Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, a managing director for the CFP Board of Standards. “People benefit from holistic financial planning, but they not able to identify who is a true financial planner.”
Washington Wealth Poached Two RBC Advisors (Financial Planning)
“Washington Wealth Management has poached another pair of RBC advisors — one other nearby peer — in its ongoing quest to attract more wirehouse advisors,” reports Ann Marsh. “That brings the rapidly growing firm’s total of new advisors to 12 since it was acquired by independent B-D National Financial Partners in March.”
The two new advisers, Eddie Barber and Russ Tobler, have assets under advisement of $US140 million and $US42 million, respectively. About $US30 million of those assets are shared.
Oil A Symptom Of What’s Happening In The Markets (Advisor Perspectives)
Although the stocks have been rallying, the crashing oil and gold markets are reflecting what’s happening in all the markets, writes Alex Merk. The markets have started to experience volatility again, and some have completely crashed.
“Be that in the currency markets where we’ve seen big swings in select currencies to the commodity markets,” writes Merk. “But while the Russian ruble has been on nosedive and other commodity currencies haves suffered in the most recent bout, the spikes in volatility have no always been in the most obvious places. To us this suggests not all is well in the markets.”
As a result, he cautions investors to proceed carefully — noting that a late-term bull market could yield “spectacular gains” or horrible losses.
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