Headlines you need to know this week

July 18, 2017

House republican introduces bill to kill fiduciary rule

Congresswoman Ann Wagner of Montana introduced a bill that would eliminate the current fiduciary rule crafted by the Department of Labor. The proposal would require brokers to make recommendations that reflect “reasonable diligence, care, skill, and prudence.”

College debt an obstacle to homeownership

Rising student debt is a significant obstacle to homeownership, according to the New York Federal Reserve. Its report found that up to 35% of the recent decline in home ownership can be tied to college debt, with student loans now averaging about $37,000 for recent graduates.

Social Security COLA planned for 2018

Social Security beneficiaries will see a raise in 2018. The 2.2% cost-of-living increase is the largest increase since 2012. The Social Security Trustees also reported that Social Security is estimated to run out of funds in 2034 — the same as last year’s projection.
July 11, 2017

Millionaires rebound from slide in confidence

One month after posting its biggest decline, the Spectrem Millionaire Investor Confidence Index, rebounded slightly. The index, which fell 17 points from April to May, increased three points in June. Still, 42% surveyed said they do not plan to invest in the coming month.

Savers with a plan are more optimistic

Investors with a written financial plan are more confident and engaged with their savings, according to a recent survey. Participants with a financial plan contributed more to their 401(k)s than those without a plan. Nearly half have an emergency fund, and 40% maintain consistent monthly savings. Still, only 24% reported that they have a formal financial plan.

DOL seeks more comments on fiduciary rule

As part of its review of the final fiduciary rule, the Department of Labor initiated two "request for information" (RFI) periods. A 15-day RFI period, which opened July 6, refers to extending the January 21, 2018 implementation of parts of the rule. A 30-day RFI period seeks input on potential exemptions from the prohibited transaction provisions.
July 3, 2017

SEC to work with DOL on fiduciary rule

The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to work with the Department of Labor in a coordinated process on the fiduciary rule, according to Financial Planning. SEC Chair Jay Clayton said the DOL rule affects the market that the SEC regulates. Earlier in June, the SEC asked for additional public input on the fiduciary standard.

Millennial wealth could hit $24 trillion by 2020

A recent analysis found that the wealth of the millennial generation could be as much as $24 trillion in three years. The boom in wealth will be driven by inheritance, entrepreneurial investments, and income, the report stated.

Risk reduction is priority for investors

Investors are focused more on risk reduction and protection of assets than growing their portfolio, according to Cerulli research. The report noted that 77% of those surveyed said they wanted a strategy to protect assets even if that included some periods where the portfolio underperformed.
May 23, 2017

Advisors organizing family meetings to talk wealth transfer

Many financial advisors are introducing new programs and ideas to talk to their clients, as well as their families, about wealth transfer, CNBC reports. With more than $30 trillion expected to move from boomers to the next generation in the coming decades, heirs will likely need guidance. Some are organizing meetings with multiple generations. Younger advisors are also playing a role in this business building effort.
April 12, 2017

Robo-users prefer human advisors when creating a plan

Despite the rise in use of robo-advisors, many investors prefer to work with a human when crafting a financial plan, according to Investor’s Business Daily. Among investors using a robo-advisor surveyed by the Spectrem Group, only 13% cited the robo as their primary advisor, while 18% said they use a full-service broker as a primary advisor. A full 66% said human advisors did a better job creating financial plans and 50% said people were more capable of making changes to those plans.
Wealth Management Center

Read our views on preserving and enhancing wealth for the future with financial-planning experts Bill Cass and Chris Hennessey

Putnam Perspectives

Explore our thinking about today’s financial markets

Advisor Tech Tips

Stay on top of trends in mobile technology, software, and social media