FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for financial advisors.
A look at the revocable living trust (Investment News)
Famed North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith garnered headlines when in his trust he left $US200 to each of his former players to have a dinner on him. Revocable trusts are becoming more popular these days as people look to keep the details of their estate private (details of Smith’s generosity was only made public by players receiving the checks). Investment News notes, “The “revocable” part of the name means that if you change your mind and want to dissolve the trust at some point, you can do so without a problem.” The publication continued, “Assuming you don’t, whatever assets you transfer into the trust don’t go through probate when you die, so they aren’t frozen (and aren’t available to be seen by the public).” Those considering a revocable trust still need a will to protect whatever is left out of the trust, and should realise setting up a trust is more expensive.
Advisors are becoming more productive (Financial Planning)
Advisor productivity is on the rise as a result because of new technology, a more narrowed approach and the creation of robo advisors. PriceMetrix, a Toronto-based practice management software and research firm, concluded the average number of clients per advisor slipped 4% in 2014 to 150 while client assets jumped 11% to $US628,000. Financial Planning notes, “Average advisor assets and revenue both hit record highs — at $US97 million and $US655,000, respectively.” However, not all of the news was good. “The average client age is now nearly 62, and increasing by roughly six to seven months per year. Only 23% of advisor’s clients are currently under 45, a level that hasn’t changed in five years,” according to FinancialPlanning.
Alternative investors are not diversifying (Financial Advisor)
While investors believe they are diversifying themselves by entering the alternative investment space, many of them are not. Speaking at the Insured Retirement Institute seminar Friday, Nadia Papagiannis, alternative investment strategy director for Goldman Sachs Asset Management, noted 20 of more than 600 alternative mutual funds contain over half of assets under management in the space. The differing opinion on the space is notable as professional investors look to alternative investments to help minimise risk while retail investors view the space as risky.
The retirement picture is changing (Wealth Management)
The dynamics of retirement in America are changing. A BMO Private Bank survey showed 20% of respondents are retired, or plan to be retired, by the age of 40. Jack Ablin, CIO of BMO Private Bank, attributes the changing dynamics to the different priorities of the millennial generation. WealthManagement says, “A common thread that Ablin sees is young people who, for lack of a better term, sell out to the corporate world for a number of years in order to make their fortunes, then instead of doubling down and moving into upper management to comfortably accumulate further wealth, they quite literally take the money and run to pursue passion projects, do charity work or start their own companies. “
Wall Street’s biggest spenders on lobbying (Think Advisor)
Americans for Financial Reform released its latest “Wall Street Money in Washington” survey, which showed the industry spent $US1.4 billion contributing to political causes. According to ThinkAdvisor, for the 2014 election the financial industry “exceeded its rate of spending in the 2010 election cycle, when the industry was working to stop or weaken the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act as it made its way through Congress. The top 5 spenders during the last election cycle were: 1) National Association of Realtors ($US108.6 million), 2) Bloomberg LP ($US29.5 million), 3) American Bankers Association ($US21.8 million), 4) Prudential Financial ($US17 million) and Wells Fargo ($US14.9 million)
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