Headlines you need to know this week
More advisory firms explore textingIt seems like most people are texting, and a growing number of financial advisory firms are exploring ways to allow advisors to text with clients. According to Pew Research, 98% of households with an income of $75,000 or higher use smartphones. Still, any client communications must meet guidelines set by federal regulatory agencies.
Women have more incentive to saveWomen may already lag in retirement savings if they earn less than men. Understanding the wage gap could serve as an incentive for women to save more or focus on a retirement plan. The National Women’s Law Center recently reported that, based on the wage gap, the average woman who worked full-time for 40 years would still make $406,760 less than the average man. To make up the difference, a woman would have to work 10 more years than a man, the study found.
Study finds digital tools are a key to successThe use of digital tools is important for an advisor’s future success, according to a report by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards’ Digital Advice Working Group. While financial advisors will remain the top source of advice, consumers will expect some use of technology as part of the relationship. The report noted that advisors who use technology can create “deeper conversations and longer-lasting relationships.”
Fintech surge continuesNew businesses launched in the fintech industry set records in 2018, with venture capital investments in the sector totaling $11 billion, representing a 39% increase over 2017. PwC research noted that the most popular startups focused on bank customer data, digital currency, cybersecurity, and using artificial intelligence for compliance.
Consider IRA strategy early in the yearInvestors considering a charitable donation using IRA assets may want to start planning early in the year. While the IRA provision is available only to account owners who are 70½ or older, investors may not know that there are other rules that govern the timing of distributions. A recent report in InvestmentNews reviews the importance of considering this donation prior to taking any other required minimum distributions.
Financial advisors are still the number one source for adviceWhen individuals need financial advice, they turn to financial advisors, according to a study by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. While the majority of consumers surveyed expect that the use of digital technology will be part of the relationship, they indicated that they prefer to meet with a human advisor who can understand their planning needs.
GenXers face unique challenges to savingGeneration Xers (individuals born between 1965 and 1980) may face challenges to saving, but time is on their side, according to a recent report. Many are trying to save for retirement and their children’s college education, while taking care of elderly parents. Some Gen Xers may have started on a path to saving later in their careers. The median age that GenXers began saving was 30, compared with age 34 for Millennials. For GenXers, time is on their side, and assets such as home values and market investments have recovered since the recession.
Advisors expect more market volatility in 2019A recent survey of nearly 500 advisors found that market volatility and political uncertainty topped their list of concerns. The majority of respondents (77%) said they believed a market downturn would occur in the next two years. In addition, 43% of the advisors polled said they plan to spend more time reaching out to clients in the coming year with educational events and resources.
New study finds most savers confident about retirementA recent study found that the majority of savers — 65% — believe they will have saved enough for retirement. The wild card that could disrupt expectations is the cost of health care, according to 22% of those polled. Most workers (85%) plan to work full-time as long as they can, and 47% of respondents said they expect to continue working after retirement.
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