US Treasury and Internal Revenue Service officials have been told to hold off on making too many comments about the regulations that will be issued due to the tax act. The reticence has made tax planning difficult.
Global Atlantic Financial Group surveyed retirement advisors to find out what could be done to increase sales of annuities. They suggested multiproduct annuity platforms, easier procedures for emergency withdrawals of funds, improved training for financial professionals working with annuities and a rule requiring advisors to serve the best interests of their clients.
Allianz reported that its first-quarter life and annuity sales in the US rose to $2.5 billion, a 4% increase over the same quarter last year. Buffered variable annuities accounted for most of the increase in sales, the company said.
InvestmentNews' "Best Places to Work for Financial Advisers" survey found respondents at small advisory firms with 15-29 employees were more likely to agree with seven statements than respondents at larger advisory firms. A notable gap in employee sentiment was found in regard to the statement: "Staffing levels are adequate to provide quality products/services."
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has proposed requiring financial advisors and associated persons to make insurance information available during arbitration proceedings. FINRA said the proposal is a response to concerns by advisors about "prejudice by limiting the circumstances under which insurance coverage information could be presented to arbitrators."
The tax law doubled the amount of money that can be passed to heirs without concern of estate and gift taxes but only until 2025, which is why the extremely wealthy are looking to dynasty trusts, writes Ben Steverman. Although clients don't have to live in a state that allows trusts without expiration dates, the dynasty trust must be set up in one, notes Steverman.
Business owners are inherently biased when examining their businesses, which can lead to poor decisions and other problems, writes Philip Palaveev, CEO of The Ensemble Practice. Bias can be rooted in the optimism and pride owners have regarding their business, and the limited-observation bias can harm owners' understanding of what is happening at the organizational level, he contends.
Cybercriminals may target trustees and beneficiaries due to the amount of sensitive information shared among involved parties, and many believe the liability falls upon the trustee, write Judith Pearson of Nomadx Solutions and Jody Westby of Global Cyber Risk. They suggest putting a team of advisors and cybersecurity experts in place to help identify risks of cyberattacks on trust operations.
The "halfback" phenomenon -- in which Northerners move to Florida and retire in Appalachian regions -- has picked up again. Census data show a 169% increase in net migration to mountain communities in western North Carolina, northern Georgia and eastern Tennessee from 2010 to 2017.
Age-related terms as "Gen X," "millennial" and "baby boomer" may be contributing to ageism and could make it harder for individuals of varying ages to work together at an advisory firm, writes Joni Youngwirth of Commonwealth Financial Network. Youngwirth says we can avoid labels and improve workplace cooperation by focusing on the characteristics that are common among populations within age groups.
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