In no particular order, here’s a few interesting things I heard and read recently that I wanted to share.
Merrill Lynch’s Second Act For RIA Reinvention Is Revealed (Lisa Shidler, RIABiz)
For many of you who know me, it’s no secret that I am super excited about my recent move to “full independence”. As a stand alone fee-based RIA (RIA = registered investment advisor), I no longer work on a commission basis and am no longer under any firm mandates to sell certain products or complete financial plans for bonuses. I have always been a fiduciary and put the interest of my clients before my own, but it was never “official” until recently. Some of this is by design, and my personal choice. Some of it is the nature of my business and how it continues to evolve. I do alot of reading about industry trends and there’s plenty of talk these days about the DOL rule pending, the use of the word fiduciary, and transparency of fees. All of these things are positive changes looming – as long as they can figure out a way to balance the interest of all parties. I wanted to share an example of what’s going on, specifically how (Mother) Merrill Lynch is doing away with “commission based IRAs” and large sign-on bonuses for recruits. I think the implication is that we will see more people make the move like I did, from wirehouse or captive-broker to the world of independence.
What’s New with 529 Plans (Leo Acheson, Morningstar)
Speaking of fee transparency, we are seeing that trend have an effect on 529 plans. Greater transparency off fees tends to lead to lower fees, and this is one of the things happening in the 529 world. I am a huge fan of 529 Plans for college savings, for most situations, and have been using them with clients (and myself) for many years. It’s good to see these plans continue to get alot of attention, as well as less expensive and better at what they are doing.
This Morning Routine will Save you 20+ Hours Per Week (Benjamin Hardy, Thrive Global)
For a self-improvement “share”, I found this little gem about being more efficient, more energized, and more focused. I read alot of these types of articles, and love the claims such as “highly successful people only work 3-6 hours a day”. Since I am working much more than that, I wonder what I am doing wrong! It usually does come down to some type of “quality versus quantity” conundrum. I usually note a few takeaways from research articles like this and try to make small improvements in my processes, maybe you will something that will make an impact on you too!