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Articles Published May 2010


In turbulent economic times, withdrawal rates need to be revisited frequently and adjusted to reflect the shortening of a retiree’s timeframe.

Structuring distribution strategies for retirees in a bear market
In this piece, which won an honorable mention in IMCA's 2010 Stephen L. Kessler Writing Award contest, Jack Gardner explores options for conserving retirement portfolios.

Monday 5.31.10
Fred Bruckner: Maybe the small investor knows something advisors don’t.

Performance measurement challenges for investors who live in a perpetual time horizon world
Columnist Frederick C. Bruckner argues that trustees can afford greater patience with the investment managers they choose.

Monday 5.31.10
Risk increases with time, making future levels of wealth more difficult to predict.

Of Trumpets and Tulips: Is time diversification a myth or reality? Does time horizon affect the tolerance for risk?
Since risk grows at a slower rate than cumulative return, the ratio of return to risk improves with time

Monday 5.31.10
Peter Savarese: If the DOL does its job and promulgates 408(b)(2) as expected, all RIAs will have a competitive advantage

A compliance attorney fields four tough 401(k) questions amid crossfire provoked by Ric Lager's column
Peter Savarese's answers show how RIAs can manage 401(k) assets and avoid land mines

Friday 5.28.10
NASSA can take consolation in what's likely a big win in its column after financial reform -- the shift in oversight of RIAs with up to $100 million in assets from SEC oversight to state regulation.

Regulatory Wire: Advocates for investment advisors disagree over priorities in the reform debate
Plus: a Washington outsider's view of reform; and FINRA's Ketchum on new fraud focus

Friday 5.28.10
David Brochu says in an e-mailed letter: If Focus wants me to leave I will do so.

Brochu drops lawsuit against Focus Financial but $500,000 is still at issue
Rhode Island advisor backs off initial suit after getting most documents

Thursday 5.27.10
Gerri Leder: After you freshen up your story or strengthen your value proposition, be sure to share it with longstanding clients as well as new ones.

Selling your value proposition
Gray hairs have a leg up in this market. Younger advisors rely on their ability to explain their process

Thursday 5.27.10
Nicole Spinelli: The symposium, along with the Network’s other events and programs held throughout the year, is designed to supercharge the success of women financial professionals across the nation

Raymond James names new head of its Women's Network
Nicole Spinelli brings recruiting experience and a women's studies babckground

Thursday 5.27.10
Tom Nally: I think joiners are going to take the breakaway trend to the next level.

9 things to know about the breakaway-to-RIA movement and why it's likely to get bigger
In a down market, RIAs need a new growth strategy and small brokers a safe landing place

Wednesday 5.26.10
Articles in the mainstream media have framed Mary Schapiro as an outsider set to clean up the Street.

How Time magazine's "Sheriff" article about Mary Schapiro, Sheila Blair and Elizabeth Warren misses the mark
Applying the busting-through-the-glass-ceiling narrative to women presumes that they haven't already

Wednesday 5.26.10
Ric Lager:  I have never given a bag lunch seminar over lunch hour in the company cafeteria.  Hell, I don’t even have a PowerPoint presentation on the topic.

Why gathering big-time 401(k) assets -- and charging regular fees -- is well within reach for most experienced RIAs
The obstacles are overrated and the opportunity is underrated

Tuesday 5.25.10
Les Abromovitz: For compliance purposes, image must be grounded in reality. Advisers should not attempt to project the image that they are miracle workers who will be successful in every market.

Compliance GPS: It may be a mistake to project too successful an image, especially in a post-Bernie Madoff world
Hint: photos of you on a yacht may not be what your clients are looking for right now

Tuesday 5.25.10
Mike Byrnes: Prospects are going to advisor websites and other online sources to do their due diligence before requesting initial meetings.

Seven things advisors need to know about social media
Shocking but true: In a connected world, the number of Google hits your firm gets increases your credibility. Social media can help.

Tuesday 5.25.10
Craig Gordon: We have 2,400 in-house advisors. It would be very different if I told you it was 24,000. The commitment in that channel would be too big to disrupt..

Royal Bank of Canada is hustling to become an RIA custody force
RBC Advisor Services weaves together RIA businesses of old Dain Rauscher and old Bear Stearns

Monday 5.24.10
Liz Ann Sonders: It's clear that both the US and global economies are well into recovery, and even expansion mode.

Double-dip market disaster on tap next? Not likely, say pundits from Schwab, Fidelity, Barron's and Seeking Alpha
Digest of recent pundit writings counters view of Joseph Stiglitz that consumers are out of bullets

Monday 5.24.10
The breakaway team held conference calls with LPL in David Armstrong's car.

Two years later, a Merrill Lynch breakaway team has no regrets
No one took a pay cut, no one is answering to a manager anymore, and there's never a question about buying a stapler

Friday 5.21.10
Looking ahead to next week: a powerful new committee will have its first meeting

Regulatory Wire: Is it game-over for the fiduciary standard this year? Advocates say, maybe not
Johnson amendment, calling for study of harmonizing regulations, passes as part of 1,596-page bill

Friday 5.21.10
Glen Shepherd: Everyone was busy before the transition and now they are expected to add on a heavy load of tedious tasks to get the transition accomplished.

Facing the breakaway paper blob with a game plan and a quarterback
Half the battle is getting the right forms with the red arrows plastered by the signature lines

Friday 5.21.10
Abigail Johnson stood in Monday morning and addressed the high executive turnover issue

Postscript to the Fidelity Executive Forum article: The RIA perspective
Abigail Johnson sent the right message with her presence and her speech, advisors say

Thursday 5.20.10
While executives from Goldman Sachs raised their right hands before Congress and attempted to artfully wordsmith their way out of selling “crap” to their customers, those that represent a better way of doing business gathered in Las Vegas.

The Leading Indicator: Breakaway lawyers turn the tables and invite RIA providers to their own conference
The business plan and the breakaway plan of RIA service providers are starting to look the same

Thursday 5.20.10
Alan Olsen: Consider hiring a person who has been unemployed for two months or more.

Here's a 15-item checklist of low-hanging tax tips for financial advisors
It's tempting to put April 15th behind you, but here's how you can plan for next year

Thursday 5.20.10
Frank Maiorano: Maybe the elephant in the room is the service model.

Trust Company of America is modifying its approach despite lights-out growth
The Denver-based RIA custodian is no longer content to be a niche player

Wednesday 5.19.10
Jason Cole: I have become less of a traditional fan.

How the NFL Players Association brought financial advisors to Florida to better marry them to its members
Advisors new to the league's program must attend the conference during their “rookie” season

Wednesday 5.19.10
Matthew Cooper: Wirehouse reps are more entrepreneurial by nature than bank reps.

Breakaways continue apace: new additions to the Broker Protocol
Nine new firms joined in two weeks

Wednesday 5.19.10
Ned Johnson led a charge of top execs and board members who gave advisors their attention in Naples

What happened at Fidelity's RIA conference this year
The presence of Ned Johnson and George W. Bush lent gravitas to the annual event

Tuesday 5.18.10
Joseph Stiglitz: Whenever I give a speech in Europe, I thank they. They purchased half of our toxic mortgages.

Stiglitz to IMCA crowd: Hunker down for painful recovery
No froth in this economist's speech. He sees governments-in-a-box and political instability

Tuesday 5.18.10
Michael Stier: Firms that are serious about attracting breakaway advisors increasingly find themselves engaged in potentially cathartic internal re-evaluations

How the breakaway movement is driving the outsourcing trend
Simplifying day-to-day tasks is at a premium for firms set on executing intensive growth strategies

Monday 5.17.10
Wade Spencer: All advisors see the benefit of it but in this recession environment they see this as one more compliance burden they need to implement.

Massachusetts Privacy Laws got toned down [some] but they're still a compliance headache
Here are 12 questions asked and answered about the intensive new regulations

Monday 5.17.10
Susan Collins put Goldman Sachs execs through tough questioning, then introduced an amendment on the fiduciary standard.

Hopes dashed: Collins amendment extends fiduciary standard to BDs, but excludes variable annuity sellers
Amendment under fire from state securities regulators, Consumer Federation

Friday 5.14.10
Matt Abar: These guys are in a bad situation and it felt like the right thing to do.

Matt Abar is rewarding loyal Techfi customers as beta period ends
The conversion to FinFolio Workstation 2010 will be free

Friday 5.14.10
If Congress passes financial reform, it only sets the stage for a new host of FINRA, SEC and DOL issues

Regulatory Wire (Updated): To create a successful new regulatory regime, the biggest fears of both broker-dealers and advisors must be assuaged
Plus, a DOL administrator offers hints of new 401(k) regulations to come this fall

Friday 5.14.10
David Brochu: The statement that Focus obtained a restraining order against me is a gross mischaracterization of the circumstances.

[Updated] Focus Financial amended statement today to say it obtained restraining orders against David Brochu of StrategicPoint
Brochu says he is restraining himself without being ordered to do so by a judge

Thursday 5.13.10
Rich Arzaga: Employees probably hate change, and might view you as Satan for driving the bus that leads them to hell.

How I survived switching custodians twice in one year, and how you can, too
A new home more to your liking lies at the end of the road, but it can be a bumpy journey

Thursday 5.13.10
What really happened with Charles Goldman leaving Schwab is finally coming out in a lawsuit

What the Charles Goldman and David Brochu lawsuits say about the RIA business
Good people and good companies sick lawyers on each other when so much happens so fast

Thursday 5.13.10
Michele Holton: You'll definitely know you're still with Advent; our customers have been pleasantly surprised.

RIABiz takes a peek under the hood of Advent Portfolio Exchange
The San Francisco software giant has made customer relationship management a big priority

Wednesday 5.12.10
India is a very fertile place for RIA activity, says Charles Lowenhaupt.

The world according to advisors
Scanning the RIAbiz stats for what advisors were thinking about over the past month

Wednesday 5.12.10
Neesha Hathi: No one in the industry is doing anything like this.

Schwab unveils a plan to create a grand ecosystem of top technology vendors to RIAs
Executives of the San Francisco RIA custodian believe they can take integration further than Fidelity's WealthCentral

Tuesday 5.11.10
Peter Mangan: If there’s a knock, it’s that there’s so many features that it makes it difficult for advisors to find the ones they need

Several hundred small RIAs gain access to Black Diamond software at reduced rates
Shareholders Service Group will be one service point for its advisor clients

Tuesday 5.11.10
Peter Hess: [The concern] is getting existing Advent clients to rethink their relationships with us. That’s our biggest uphill challenge.

Advent Software is moving ahead in the RIA tech market-- even if most Axys users refuse to budge
Advent Portfolio Exchange is hitting its stride but mostly thanks to a whole new generation of customers

Monday 5.10.10
Adam Bold: Higher trading costs will offset in whole or part ETFs’ lower operating costs.

How ETFs have been oversold when it comes to flexibility, lower costs and tax efficiency
ETFs are the new sacred cow, but Adam Bold calls them hamburger

Monday 5.10.10
Arlen Specter: I have long believed that it is insufficient to have fines for fraud. For corporate fraud, you have a fine and it is calculated as part of doing business.

Regulatory Wire: Advisor groups long have pushed for the fiduciary standard; because of the Goldman Sachs case, they may get what they asked for, and more
Senators call for ERISA-level standards of care for retail investors; also, Schapiro puts new ADV part 2 back on the radar

Friday 5.7.10
Peter Hess: I think this first quarter actually was one of the best first quarters we have ever had, if not the best.

Advent Software got a lift from improving APX sales in first quarter
San Francisco-based broker is at important point in its history

Friday 5.7.10
Rob Isbitts: The S&P 500 Index fell to a level about 6% below where it closed on Monday of this week. That occurred following a gain of over 80% in the past 14 months.

Stock market Euro-trashed: What does it mean for your clients' wealth?
It's a great time to readjust Beta after an 80% surge from the lows and just a 6% selloff this week

Friday 5.7.10
David Bellaire: Improving regulatory examination and enforcement for investment advisers and broker-dealers is more complicated than changing the responsible regulator or throwing money at the problem.

Debate continues: Fiduciary standard no panacea
Financial Services Institute advocates for study, deliberate look at investor protection

Thursday 5.6.10
Matt Camden shows off an iPad that is now compatible with HighTower's tech platform

HighTower Advisors and United Capital seek to stamp out wirehouse feel by embracing Apple technology
The aggregators see risk in standing pat with PC technology when advisors use Macs at home

Thursday 5.6.10
Matthew J. Schafer: It’s just playground rules at a time [when] duress or stress might be high.

SIFMA will take over administration of Broker Protocol list
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz gives up reins of legal truce after list of participants balloons to 471 firms

Thursday 5.6.10
Ron Rhoades: Settlement of the case between Goldman Sachs and the SEC is highly likely within the next several months.

One-Man Think Tank: Inside the legal issues of the Goldman Sachs hearings
Sorting out the culpability of the Wall Street powerhouse requires a close look at the suitability standard

Wednesday 5.5.10
FINRA, SEC and NASSA offer guidance on the suitability standard

The suitability standard, defined
If you've wondered, as we have, exactly what it says, wonder no more

Wednesday 5.5.10
Rob Copeland: Mom lent a hand with startup costs.

Straight talk from a community bank breakaway
Being a fee-based RIA is a strong selling point in a town where you're the only one

Tuesday 5.4.10
Justin Meise: While most reporters aren’t out to destroy anyone’s reputation, they are in the business of writing interesting stories.

Behind the PR man's curtain: how RIAs can successfully deal with the media
How to develop a strategy that helps convince clients to trust their assets to you

Tuesday 5.4.10
Mindy Diamond: The biggest concern seems to be that Goldman has been described as 'betting against ... (clients).' Those words are not what a client wants to associate with the firm that manages their investments.

Goldman Sachs' wealth managers are taking recruiters' phone calls amid concerns over scandal fallout
The 'betting-against' allegations have some brokers fearful about their ability to attract new prospects

Monday 5.3.10
Jon Patullo: [Advisors] were stoked that Veo was available on a Mac.

TD Ameritrade's technology, Veo, wins high praise from advisors so RIABiz took a look
Veo got a head start and has unique third party tools

Monday 5.3.10

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