VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Looking back in history to understand this mess

Where is the stock market headed next? It may help to look where it has been. My clients may have grown tired of hearing how the bull market of the 1990s mirrored the Roaring Twenties-maybe because they knew what came after the Roaring Twenties? You remember the history books and your parents talking about the Great Depression. The more articles you read concerning the recent market turmoil, the more this phrase appears: "Worst (fill in blank) since the Great Depression."...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Annual reviews can help prevent financial horror stories

Sharing stories of success are always a lot more fun for me than horror stories. Nevertheless, much like staring at an accident on the side of the road, most people can't help but find them more interesting. Of course, you have recently completed your annual review with your financial professional. If not, schedule one as soon as you complete reading your IBJ. Here are two stories to illustrate why it is important. A near-miss The first story goes like this:...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Shouldn't you make money in up, and down, markets?

It seems simple, but knowing whether your financial advisor is doing a good job can be a challenge for some. It's difficult to define what good is, because it depends on how the rest of the market is performing. For example in a bull market, 2 percent is a horrible return. But in a bear market, when most investors are down 20 percent, just preserving your capital would be considered a triumph. In that case, 2 percent doesn't look so...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Court decision could change future of brokerage firms

On March 30, a U.S. Court of Appeals issued a decision that represents a tremendous victory for registered investment advisers, individual investors and a defeat for big brokerage firms such as Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, and Goldman Sachs. The Financial Plan- Association filed the lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission, arguing that the SEC in 1999 had exceeded its authority in creating an exemption from investment adviser registration under the Investment Advisers Act for stockbrokers who charge asset-based fees...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Here's another tax break you may have overlooked

Financial advisors counsel clients on income, estate and gift taxes among other things. But they often neglect residential property taxes. That could well be a mistake. Property taxes are a significant cost of owning real estate - typically 1 percent to 1.5 percent of market value. So, they must be considered in making financial decisions. They can also be a significant cash-flow consideration for someone in retirement who has a lot of illiquid wealth-not just for your primary residence, but...
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