Written by Brooke Southall, RIABiz Friday, 08 June 2012
When Sheryl Rowling was looking for a way support her old friend, Cheryll Lurtz, who had just come through a period of cancer treatment, a Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk seemed like just the ticket.
Accordingly, the principal of a $200-million RIA, Rowling & Associates of San Diego, chose a three-day, 60-mile trek across Chicagoland in 2007.
It was an imperfect plan.
“I stupidly picked Chicago because I thought it would be convenient for both of us — me from San Diego, her from Kansas City. Why stupid? 100-degree weather, 100% humidity and very little shade!” Read More..
Written by David Lawrence, Financial Advisor Magazine Tuesday, 15 May 2012
With increased focus on the use of technology to support and enhance the operations of a financial practice, broker-dealers and custodians have provided a broad selection of tools to their advisors. Given the competitive environment, many B-Ds and custodians have increased these offerings in an effort to attract and retain advisors. So it seems natural, at some point, to ask if the advisors are actually using these tools. And, if they are using them, are they making the most of the technology that is available to them through their broker-dealer and/or custodian?
To help answer this question, I spoke with Robert Powell, vice president of sales and marketing at Laser App Software, a leading automated forms management software solution that works with hundreds of broker-dealers and custodians. According to Powell, the adoption of technology (including software and resources) is generally low. But the fault does not rest solely with advisors. Broker-dealers and custodians are also at fault for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, a corporate vision is needed and should be clearly communicated to the advisors/reps. If there are technology fees, they also need to be better communicated. Read More..
Written by Joel Bruckenstein, Financial Advisor Magazine Tuesday, 15 May 2012
For the average American, the decision about when and how to take Social Security retirement benefits is an extremely important one. We know that millions of baby boomers have not saved enough for retirement. This lack of savings has been exacerbated by the past decade’s subpar equity returns and the current low interest-rate environment. Add to the mix the fact that far fewer Americans participate in a defined benefit pension plan than did a generation ago, and we have the makings of a potential disaster. Clearly, millions of boomers will rely heavily on Social Security in retirement, so maximizing benefits can be essential.
Granted, the rules governing Social Security benefits and the payouts seem likely to change over time, but if history is any guide, those already receiving benefits and those approaching retirement will not be severely impacted. In any case, it seems prudent to examine options under current rules. Read More..
Written by Davis D. Janowski, InvestmentNews Tuesday, 15 May 2012
A technology-centric advice business that could leave traditional planners “in the dust” — a future envisioned by adviser Michael Kitces — is unlikely to unfold, according to many financial advisers and industry observers.
The biggest competitors for planning clients in the future — especially for Generation Y prospects — will be tech companies and “virtual platforms” that give information-hungry investors the tools and advice that they seek, Mr. Kitces, director of research at Pinnacle Advisory Group, and an influential blogger, said last week at the Financial Planning Association's Retreat 2012 conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. Read More..
Written by Joel Bruckenstein, Financial Planning Magazine Tuesday, 15 May 2012
A consensus is growing in the planning industry that customer relationship management software is essential to running a successful practice. Most financial advisors, though, have checked out industry-specific products, such as Redtail, Junxure, Advisors Assistant and Ebix, which scored well in FP's annual Tech Survey. There are a host of general-purpose cloud providers as well, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce. Some lesser-known products are often overlooked. One of them is Grendel Online.
As with a growing number of applications for advisors, Grendel Online is cloud-based. There is no software to install. You simply sign up, receive a user name and password, and access the software through a web browser. Grendel Online focuses on three goals, says company rep Aaron Guidotti: easing an advisor's workload, protecting the advisor and increasing revenue. Read More..
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