Money isn’t everything, but it certainly helps create choices in life. Yes, investing can be tricky with many options and fine print. Still, the biggest obstacle for the average person is not investing; it is the saving bit. Saving requires discipline and, in some cases, sacrifice. It means spending less than you earn, though you’re surrounded by lots of temptation.
You are forgiven for having bigger headlines to focus on, as these are confusing times. Envisioning 20 to 40 years from now takes a backseat to the day-to-day with so many concerns for the average individual and family. At least half of baby boomers are navigating healthcare costs and lower fixed incomes, Gen Xers are straddling college costs and eldercare, and the millennials starting out are paying for weddings, homes, and childcare costs. It’s a busy day all-in.
The Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule is applicable on April 10, 2016, and in full force on January 1, 2018. Broker-dealers and their business partners are at work designing or supporting compliance programs. The effort will have an impact on both financial advisors and clients. The rule affects the financial advisor market serving individual retirement assets, most notably the individual retirement account (IRA) rollover and 401(k) plans with less than US$50 million in assets.
One man makes a difference.
Today the European Court of Justice voided the “Safe Harbor” agreement, which allows the personal data of European Union citizens into a U.S. firm if the firm pledges to adhere to EU standards. The agreement inhibits Europe’s regulators from intervening on behalf of EU citizens who feel their privacy is compromised. The court is also concerned about U.S. authorities’ “mass and indiscriminate surveillance.”
Denise Valentine is a senior analyst at Aite Group in wealth management, focusing on investment management topics such as portfolio technology and related processes ranging from traditional portfolio systems to portfolio management techniques leveraged within digital advice platforms. Ms. Valentine further focuses on data analytics, artificial intelligence, and retirement industry trends, such as the Department of Labor fiduciary rule and the defined contribution segment. Ms. Valentine spent several years with Aite Group evaluating the institutional asset management market.