Fiduciary Risks Webinar Recap

  • By Nicholas Economos, CRPS® Last week on The Fiduciary Advisor blog we recapped our fiduciary financial planning educational webinar series to date for participants in the retirement plans of our plan sponsor clients. Now we turn our focus to plan sponsors themselves, and the series we launched last month with the webinar Fiduciary Risks: A Retirement Plan Checkup. Retirement plan sponsors are often exposed to more fiduciary risk than they realize. Did you know 33% of plan sponsors do not even…
    Fiduciary Financial Planning Process

    Fiduciary Financial Planning Webinars

  • By Miaciah Manuel, CFP®, Fiduciary Financial Advisor Earlier this year, we launched a fiduciary financial planning webinar series to help educate retirement plan participants on five steps they can use to put their goals first in personal financial plans. Our mission is to change the world one plan at a time, and financial education on proven planning processes is a big part of that. We're presenting a webinar on each step of the simple, practical financial planning process that we use…
    what's in your fiduciary file

    What’s In Your Fiduciary File?

  • [video width="3840" height="2160" mp4="https://www.fiduciaryfinancialpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/RPM_Q1-2019_Video_Whats-In-Your-Fiduciary-File_Ready.mp4"][/video] Ever wonder what documents should be in your Retirement Plan Committee's fiduciary file? If you've offered a 401(k) plan to your employees for a short period of time or a long period of time, chances are you have many different types of documents to show for it. We'll help you figure out the essential document requirements and best practice ideas on how to store them safely. Talk to our team at Fiduciary Financial Partners today to…

    Four Tips To Boost Your Employees’ Retirement Outlook

  • As many employees look ahead to retirement, 47% of workers feel somewhat confident that they’ll have enough money saved to retire on time and then live comfortably.1 However, forward-thinking employers have the ability to help their employees work toward a confident and happy retirement. According to the 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), only 17% of American workers feel very confident in their ability to live comfortably in retirement. Additionally, their 28th annual survey found…

    Risky Business: Why Plan Governance Matters

  • Participant-driven lawsuits are on the rise, and employers are facing heightened scrutiny of the way they manage their retirement plans. In today’s continually-evolving regulatory and legal environment, it’s more important than ever to make sure your organization’s retirement plan is both effective and compliant. A well-structured retirement plan governance program can help you pursue these goals when aiming to limit fiduciary risk and improve plan performance, while striving to boost participant outcomes. What is retirement plan governance? Simply defined, governance…

    Plan Sponsor Guide: How Protected Is Your Company’s 401(K) Plan?

  • Did you know cybercrime is a possible threat for your company’s 401(k) plan? Technology is evolving fast, but cybercriminals are evolving just as fast. Cybercriminals are now going after a plan sponsor’s company 401(k) plans and you could be liable if disaster strikes! You should be aware of the multiple cyber threats that can affect your plan and the protective measures available to help you thwart those threats. Our guide provides you with many ways you can help protect your…

    Why Should You Diversify?

  • As 2019 approaches, and with US stocks outperforming non-US stocks in recent years, some investors have again turned their attention towards the role that global diversification plays in their portfolios. For the five-year period ending October 31, 2018, the S&P 500 Index had an annualized return of 11.34% while the MSCI World ex USA Index returned 1.86%, and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index returned 0.78%. As US stocks have outperformed international and emerging markets stocks over the last several years,…

    We’re Hiring! Join Our Team As A Financial Planning Associate.

  • Do you have superior client service skills and a great work ethic that you want to contribute to an established and continually growing financial advisory business? Fiduciary Financial Partners is looking for strong, detail orientated people with high follow-through to join our team. Our formula for success is to put our clients first. If you’re looking for the tools, resources and freedom to build a great future, take a look at our newest available position for a Financial Planning Associate. Responsibilities…

    Is Your Retirement Plan at Risk for a Cyber Attack?

  • Cyber-crime is on the rise worldwide. As a result, growing numbers of organizations are taking critical steps to protect their valuable electronic data from hackers and other cyber criminals — a process known as cybersecurity. It’s serious business, and a trend retirement plan sponsors and committees should pay attention to. In 2015, IBM’s chair, president and CEO Ginni Rometty said, “Cyber-crime is the greatest threat to every company in the world.” Last year, billionaire investor and businessman Warren Buffett echoed…

    Plan Sponsor Guide: Understanding 401(k) Loans

  • The recent enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) makes changes to 401(k) loan repayment options, which should prompt plan sponsors and plan administrators to re-evaluate their existing loan program, processes and procedures.  This article will provide an overview of the loan provision and offer a list of considerations that plan sponsors can use when adding or modifying an existing loan feature to their plan. Although not required by law, many 401(k) plans offer a loan…

    The DOL Fiduciary Rule is Dead, but You’re Still a Fiduciary

  • On June 21, 2018, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Conflict of Interest Rule—more commonly referred to as the “DOL Fiduciary Rule”—thus killing the rule entirely. Despite this news, the death of the DOL Fiduciary Rule does not alleviate a plan sponsor from being a fiduciary when sponsoring an ERISA-covered retirement plan, such as a 401(k). The primary purpose of the DOL Fiduciary Rule was two-fold: 1) Broaden the existing…

    Infographic: Harnessing The Power Of Compound Interest

  • Warren Buffett’s wealth came from three things: A combination of living in America, lucky genes and compound interest!  As an employer that sponsors a 401(k) plan, encouraging your participants to make small changes in their spending habits can help them harness the power of compound interest. Our newest infographic will help give your participants a 30,000-foot view of how compound interest may help their additional savings grow.

    BEYOND THE 401(K): CAN EMPLOYERS HELP PAY DOWN STUDENT LOANS TOO?

  • Every company that values the human capital that walks through their door every day wants to create a range of differentiated benefits – benefits that not only work harder but are ones that their people can truly appreciate. For many of these folks, particularly those in their 20s and 30s, it can be challenging to think about putting away money for retirement when they still have student loan payments. It begs the question: If your employees are dealing with high…
    How Much Should I Save Every Month?

    Infographic: How Much Should I Save Every Month?

  • "How Much Should I Save Every Month?" It's a question that doesn't always present an easy answer, especially with a variety of financial goals and timelines. Fortunately, our latest infographic should serve as an excellent guide on how to prioritize everything from saving for retirement to paying down credit card debt. We'll also suggest some good percentages to follow that can guide your spending and saving, including how to effectively segment your saving into "buckets" across a whole range of…
    health savings accounts

    Health Savings Accounts: Features Your Employees May Thank You For

  • For the majority of future retirees, medical expenses pose significant risk to any retirement plan, and they are only projected to rise. Medical cost estimates for couples throughout their full retirement, assuming both partners are 65, has increased $15,000 from 2016 to 2017, bringing total projections to $275,000, after Medicare coverage.[1] Even for professionals with 401k balance projections at their target retirement age over $1 million dollars, this figure is daunting. At the same time, employers seek cost-effective strategies to…
    turkey

    Let’s Talk Turkey

  • Frightening headlines abound today about Turkey. Fears about how the plunging Lira could pose a risk to the country that serves as a geographic buffer between Europe and Syria, President Erdogan threatens that Turkey may go searching for “new friends” like Russia and Iran if the US doesn’t start showing some respect and terms like hyperinflation and contagion are being thrown around in articles and op-eds everywhere. There’s no doubt that world markets, economic policy and geopolitical relations are complicated.…
    the financial marathon

    The Financial Marathon

  • A Marathon for Everyone Recently, I went to cheer on a friend running in her first marathon. The excitement of watching thousands of people accomplish such an amazing goal was an experience like no other. I waited at the last bend before the finish line so I’d have a good vantage point for cheering my friend on. What I did not expect was the wave of emotion that washed over the faces of each runner as they saw the finish…
    financial stress

    Infographic: The Cost Of Financial Stress

  • What's the real cost of financial stress for employees? These eye-popping statistics on the weight of financial worries within the latest infographic from Fiduciary Financial Partners are hard to ignore. Fortunately, there are real things that employers can do to help their people have a more positive perspective in regard to the road ahead. It starts with financial education and planning. That's where Nick Economos and the team at FFP comes in. Talk to us today about how to bring the financial…

    A Guide For Employers Dealing With Missing Participants

  • Locating missing plan participants can be a headache for any employer, but simply ignoring them is not an effective solution. Regulatory agencies in previous years have published guidance on this topic relating to missing “retired” employees. With the increase in the number of “pre-retired” missing plan participants, governmental bodies are now taking additional measures to provide solid guidance and solutions to help streamline this arduous process for plan sponsors. Plan sponsors must understand why locating missing plan participants is important. …
    2018 Contribution Limits for 401(k) Plans

    Infographic: 2018 Contribution Limits for 401(k) Plans

  • Are you aware of how 401(k) contribution limits are different from last year to this year? If not, today's infographic from Fiduciary Financial Partners has you covered. Take a closer look at how such areas as defined contribution limit, maximum contributions and defined benefit limit among others have changed. For a more in-depth conversation about 401(k) contributions, call Nick Economos and the team at Fiduciary Financial Partners at 630.780.1534.   Fiduciary Financial Partners, LLC is a Registered Investment Adviser. This blog post is…
    what's in your fiduciary vault

    Infographic: What’s In Your Fiduciary Vault?

  • Keeping proper documentation is a good way for plan sponsors and fiduciaries to show compliance with applicable laws and regulations. If the Department of Labor (DOL) or Internal Revenue Service (IRS) knocks on your door, there are certain documents that should be complete and on file. So, what should you have in your fiduciary vault? Take a look at our infographic to review the proper documentation checklist. Then call Nick Economos and the team at Fiduciary Financial Partners at 630.780.1534.   Fiduciary…

    Infographic: Managing Your Fiduciary Duty

  • Managing a company 401(k) is a big responsibility and understanding all of the potential features and possibilities is almost like another full-time job. As evidenced by our infographic, there are 5 major responsibilities a fiduciary can have. If you're feeling overwhelmed with your fiduciary responsibility, let's talk more about it today. Call Nick Economos and the team at Fiduciary Financial Partners at 630.780.1534.   Fiduciary Financial Partners, LLC is a Registered Investment Adviser. This blog post is solely for informational purposes.…
    401k refund

    The Dreaded 401(k) Refund: Corrective Distributions

  • 401K REFUNDS: NOT AS GOOD AS THEY SOUND With tax season fresh on our minds, many hear the word refund and begin running down their imaginary wish list of ways to spend this extra money. However, when it comes to 401(k) refunds, or corrective distributions, the excitement should be dialed back. Corrective distributions are a headache for plan sponsors and employees alike. Essentially, these refunds mean that your plan has failed testing, and tax-deferred money that key employees set aside…
    Should We Have A Retirement Plan Committee?

    Should We Have A Retirement Plan Committee?

  • If you are an employer or employee who has decision-making authority over your company’s retirement plan, there is a strong chance that you are a 401(k) plan fiduciary. You have a legal obligation to operate the plan solely in the interests of the plan participants (people with retirement account balances) and their beneficiaries (people who may inherit those retirement account balances). Additionally, two other primary responsibilities are to manage the plan for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits and paying…
    Benchmarking 401k funds

    Benchmarking Your 401(k) Funds

  • Benchmarking is a retirement plan best practice that allows plan sponsors the opportunity to “take a peek under the hood” of their 401(k). The process allows you to compare your plan to similar plans, measuring key metrics such as participant saving and participation rates, fee reasonableness and service providers. Benchmarking should be a key part of your due diligence process and there are four main areas to focus on when assessing your company’s retirement plan. They are: 1. Plan Design…

    That’ll Never Happen to Me: Succession Planning for the Unthinkable

  • Someday you’re going to exit your business – there’s no getting around that fact, whether it’s planned or unplanned. So what can you do today to help ensure your business survives for the next generation and beyond? Fiduciary Financial Partners’ Nick Economos speaks to the need for succession planning now in order to positively impact the financial success of your business. In this first video, Nick talks about the personal wake-up call that caused him to get a laser-focused perspective…

    FFP’s Nick Economos and Other Execs Discuss Human Capital, FinTech And More!

  • Fiduciary Financial Partners' Nick Economos was recently able to join several other C-level executives at Chicago’s Skyline Club for an engaging roundtable discussion on technology, FinTech innovation, bitcoin and much more. We’re excited to share a few video clips from that roundtable here for your benefit, including Nick’s thoughts on FinTech and human capital. From our own conversations at Fiduciary Financial Partners with industry executives, we know that these particular topics have an ever-increasing relevance and we hope that the…

    “My Business Is My Retirement Plan”: Here’s Why It Can’t Be.

  • When I speak to business owners about retirement planning, it’s not unusual for me to hear, “Well, selling my business IS my retirement plan!” It’s a nice idea on paper. You build up your business to a point where your life’s work can be sold for an amount that finances all of your dreams for years to come. The problem? Many business owners can’t say with absolute certainty that their company will indeed be able to deliver on completely funding…

    What 401(k) Benchmarking With FFP Is All About

  • Interested in comparing your company's 401(k) plan to others? In Part 3 of our 3-Part Video Series on the subject, Nick Economos, Chief Retirement Officer of Fiduciary Financial Partners, explains the next steps in an easy process for receiving your own customized benchmarking study of your 401(k). Get the clarity you deserve about how your 401(k) stacks up by calling Nick and his team at FFP at 630.780.1534. Nick Economos, CRPS is a dedicated independent Financial Advisor and Chief Retirement…
    Nick Economos explores 5 areas for comparing 401(k) plans

    5 Areas For Comparing 401(k) Plans

  • There are 5 key areas to focus on when comparing your company's 401(k) plan to others. In Part 2 of our 3-Part Video Series, Nick Economos, Chief Retirement Officer of Fiduciary Financial Partners, speaks in-depth to each of these considerations when he engages in a benchmarking study for his clients' 401(k) plans. If you're wondering how to go about having this type of analysis done for your own plan, you'll want to check out Part 3, which will show you…
    Why compare your company's 401(k) plan to others? Nick Economos explains.

    Why Compare Your Company’s 401(k) Plan To Your Peers?

  • When it comes to your company's 401(k) plan, do you really know how it stacks up to others in terms of its costs or whether you're getting value for the fees you're paying? Nick Economos, your Chief Retirement Officer at Fiduciary Financial Partners, speaks to these questions you'll want to consider today in Part 1 of this 3-Part Video Series on the importance of benchmarking your 401(k) plan.     Nick Economos, CRPS is a dedicated independent Financial Advisor and…

    “Lipstick On This Pig”: Why The Broker System Is Broken

  • It was supposed to be so much different by now. Check out this ad from Schwab where the head of a brokerage firm instructs his staff to “put some lipstick on this pig.” This ad ran in 2002. Ah, how times have changed, right? Wrong. Years later, many brokerage firms are still pushing investments that are suitable for client portfolios but not necessarily in the client’s very best interests. “But wait,” you say. “What about all the problems encountered by…

    Education Shopping Now May Mean Everything For Your Kids Post-Graduation

  • We continue to see a trend in which employers are considering how to help their people tackle the challenges of paying off high student loan debt. If this seems outside the norm, think again. In fact, we believe the need for employer assistance on student loans should only continue to grow based on the statistics we see such as the one from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that estimates student loans have risen to 10.6% of all U.S.…
    A Macron win is good for global investors

    Victory Of Macron In France Good News For Global Investors

  • In the wake of the election of Emmanuel Macron over Marine Le Pen as France’s new President, numerous media outlets have applauded his victory as a solid rejection of opponents of the EU. The question is, what might Macron’s election mean for markets and even your portfolio? First things first: Victory for Macron means France is staying in the EU for the foreseeable future, thereby avoiding a “Frexit.” That kind of stability is important not only for France but for…
    Your retirement Magic Number can be a moving target

    Is Your Retirement “Magic Number” Stressing You Out?

  • As someone who is obsessed with watching market numbers in all varieties daily for my clients, it may seem odd for me to talk about one number that constantly comes up in planning conversations: Your retirement “Magic Number.” It’s not that you shouldn’t have a goal to plan for, of course. It’s that this Magic Number at times gets entirely too much weight. People can focus on it so much that their entire life is boiled down to the success…
    What's an ineffective retirement plan costing your company? We run the numbers.

    What An Ineffective Retirement Plan Really Costs Your Company

  • You know it’s important to have a strong retirement plan for your company. Still, when it comes down to it: If you have an ineffective retirement plan, what's the real cost to your company if employees can’t retire on time? It might seem easy to view your company’s retirement plan as an independent entity. In truth, there’s a much larger domino effect that occurs when people either don’t retire on time or leave the company before retirement. There are long-term…
    Today's financial wellness program is more than just retirement planning.

    Today’s Financial Wellness Program: It’s About More Than Retirement

  • If your company is like most, you have employees who are carrying around a lot of stress with them tied to their finances. In fact, if the percentages mirror what PwC found in a recent Employee Financial Wellness Survey*, close to half of them have consistent balances on their credit cards. And one-third of them are finding the stress they’ve had over financial issues increased within the last year, contributing to many finding themselves challenged to meet monthly household expenses…
    China's ghost cities and why their making a comeback is a good thing for global investors

    The Comeback Of China’s Ghost Cities And Why Global Investors Should Care

  • “By 2020, China hopes to move 100 million people from the country's farming regions into cities. By 2026, it hopes to move 250 million.”1 That was early 2013, when 60 Minutes ran a story about China's ‘Ghost Cities’ as a sign of a massive build up in unused and unneeded housing. Since then, this story in ‘The Globe And Mail’ describes how a lot of excess capacity of housing has actually been filled up in China’s third and fourth-tier cities,…
    The Federal Reserve - are we giving it too much credit for its influence?

    Are We Giving The Fed Too Much Credit For Influence?

  • The Federal Reserve recently raised a key interest rate .25% and in the 24 hours since, it seemed to be the only non-White House issue the media could talk about. What are the implications for the economy?   The Federal Reserve Is Just A Scorekeeper. Really. Let’s consider the real factors here. When we drill down deeper, we see that the Fed is not causing interest rates to rise in itself. It’s responding to events when it raises or cuts an…
    Can you manage to separate your feelings from finance?

    Finance Is Never About Your Feelings

  • How do you FEEL about the stock market? Do you FEEL that it is too high and ready for a big fall? Well, people may love to share their FEELINGS about investing. Yet at Fiduciary Financial Partners, we spend a great deal of our time separating financial emotion from financial reality. FEELINGS should not enter into the discussion. It can be challenging to do that with a constant swirling of dramatic news media stories. We get that. Still, at the…
    The US Dollar Is Crashing Soon? We Can Think Of Two Historical Instances That Bucked That Trend

    Why A Strong US Dollar Is Nothing To Fear

  • Do you ever notice how some financial TV pundits find a way to talk doom and gloom when things are actually going quite well? Take the US Dollar, which is very strong right now. If you're not into financial markets, you wouldn't know that the US Dollar is up more than 25% in the last 2 1/2 years and almost 40% since early 2011.  Still, when the Dollar eventually does weaken, we'll see 'Dollar Crisis!' stories popping up across the news media.…
    Is the Euro beyond help if regular bailouts aren't successful?

    Euro On Life Support If Italian Banks Can’t Make A Comeback?

  • Once Italian lawmakers in December approved a 20 billion Euro plan design to rescue Italy's weakest banks, it would be easy to say the country - and the Eurozone - could breathe a bit easier. After all, we can point to instances in other countries in which banks have been revitalized after the government recapitalized them. When we think back to the US banking crisis, financial institutions across the country made a serious comeback upon recapitalization. Remember Spain's housing bubble?…

    Almost 10 Years After Madoff, What Have Investors Learned?

  • Nearly a decade after Bernie Madoff shook the investment world with a Ponzi scheme of epic proportions, the question remains: Could it happen again? In reflection, we always come back to this: You should always be leery of any financial advisor who is also your custodian.  If they make your statements, then there’s a risk to you. None of us want to even imagine that dreadful feeling that so many of Madoff's victims felt. Yet, when we have films like…
    Could President Trump's SEC pick derail the Fiduciary Rule?

    Is Fiduciary Rule “Dead” With Trump’s SEC Appointment?

  • The Fiduciary Rule was created to try to keep investors from being taken advantage of. But with President Trump's SEC appointment, is it now in jeopardy? by Miaciah Manuel, CFP® With every appointment and executive action, President Trump continues to garner controversy – and his appointment of Jay Clayton to lead the SEC appears to be no different. Given Clayton’s career as a defense attorney for large financial institutions, the opinion of some in the financial press is that he is…
    If you're uncertain whether you have one of the best 401k plans, a benchmarking report from FFP can clarify a whole lot.

    Think You Have One Of The Best 401k Plans? Let’s Test.

  • The best 401k plans offer the full services, value and performance your company and its plan participants deserve. How do you know you, in fact, have one of the best 401k plans out there? In a word: Benchmarking. In the first part of our blog post on benchmarking your 401k and comparing it to others, we spoke about the importance of having thorough documentation as compliance audits from the Department of Labor will be going up over the next several…
    It's time to compare 401k plans for greater insight - FFP's Nick Economos shares why.

    Why Your Company Should Compare 401k Plans ASAP

  • By Nick Economos That current 401k plan for your company? Sure, it seems to be performing fine. Yet, you can’t ignore the sense that you should compare 401k plans for your peace of mind, especially with some questions rising to the surface such as: Are we overpaying for our 401k plan with certain fees that may or may not be necessary? Could our plan be performing even better? What better fund options might be out there for a company like ours?…
    Why fiduciary duty matters: Is What’s “Suitable” For Your Portfolio Enough?

    A Fiduciary Duty Question: Is What’s “Suitable” For Your Portfolio Enough?

  • Why should you care that a financial professional follows a fiduciary duty instead of what’s suitable for your portfolio?   By Nick Economos At first glance, the idea that someone like a wealth manager, broker or financial advisor touts an investment that’s suitable for your goals seems perfectly fine. After all, it seems in line with your risk tolerance and what’s more, that professional might be talking about the high standard they’re held to through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, also…
    Fiduciaries and brokers are not the same - here are three more key differences.

    5 Huge Differences Between Fiduciaries And Brokers (part 2)

  • Fiduciaries and brokers aren't the same - in the continuation of our previous post, we explore three more key differences that you'll want to be aware of. Broker: “So tell me. How do you feel about risk?” Client: “I hate it. I hate risk. It scares the hell out of me. I’m afraid of what the market will do to decimate my finances, which I’ve worked my tail off to build.” Broker: “I think I have a product that you’re…
    Senior couple shaking hands with fiduciary

    5 Huge Differences Between A Fiduciary And A Broker (part 1)

  • Fiduciary. Broker. Same thing, right? Wrong. In a series of blog posts, Fiduciary Financial Partners is here to help clarify the key points of difference. “Look. I’ve worked tirelessly for decades to accumulate the kind of life savings that came with a lot of sacrifice in the form of working weekends. I missed a child’s soccer game or ballet recital as a result of it too. For all I’ve been through to this point, I don’t want to take on…

    Will The First 100 Days Of Trump Be A Rocky Road For Investors?

  • Frankly, the evidence would suggest the answer to our headline's question is no. This chart from Vanguard shows us that after the first 100 days of a President’s term, the market tends to calm significantly. And some fluctuation prior to the first 100 days isn’t a sure sign that the market is headed for a wild ride, either. In other words, you’re going to hear all of kinds of media sources speculate about potential market swings up and down. Even…

    How Much Influence Does Any President Have On The Stock Market?

  •   “Trump’s win is going to send the market into a tailspin! His policies will send us back to the economy we had when Bush was in office!” “Ah, people were saying that the sky was falling after ‘Brexit’ and that didn’t happen. The market will be fine. It may even flourish based on what we’ve seen so far.” Who do you believe? Should you start making moves to your portfolio now that the unexpected has happened? How volatile does…
    Is an "Italexit" coming from Italy?

    “Italexit”: Is Italy The Next Euro Domino To Fall?

  •   Come this Sunday, December 4th, a major referendum on constitutional reform is taking place in Italy. Some are calling it the precursor to an "Italexit" from the Euro. Is this a vote that determines whether or not Italy stays in the Eurozone? No – at least not yet – but the table may be set for that eventual outcome if the referendum goes in a certain direction. Take a look at the chart below. With the largest Italian banks…
    Financial stress

    7 Smart Ways To Kick More Financial Stress To The Curb

  • The bad news is that we have many categories of financial stress. The good news is that if we can prioritize and plan better, that financial stress can feel more manageable.   By Nick Economos Anxious. Overwhelmed. Headache. Upset stomach. Insomnia. What are all these symptoms primarily stemming from? According to a recent survey, financial stress. Try as they might, people can’t get finances out of their minds and it’s causing psychological or physical effects. Conducted by Greenwald & Associates on…

    Why Protectionism And Portfolios Don’t Always Mix

  •   We’re really not into making political predictions at Fiduciary Financial Partners (projecting market behavior is more our specialty), but this much is easy to predict: The debate between proponents of free trade vs. anti-globalization we’ll see between now and Election Day will be hotter than a volcano. With his poll numbers hurting, Donald Trump is clearly making a political play for favor in states such as Pennsylvania and West Virginia with consistent anti-trade messages against Mexico and China. Not…

    Calling BS On Monday Morning Investment QBs

  • by Miaciah Manuel, CFP® I had to chuckle. How could I not? The headline at the top of my Google Finance page read: Here’s Proof That ‘Definitely This Is A Stock Pickers Market’. Finally! The proof we’ve all been waiting for! OK, I’m being a bit sarcastic here because the Monday Morning Quarterbacking constantly expressed in articles like these is a good example of what’s “easier said than done” when it comes to investing. Consider the article I found on…
    Have you located the North Star to guide you toward an investment plan?

    What’s Your North Star? The Compass For Your Investment Plan.

  • The answers to these questions can uncover the North Star to guide you toward an investment plan that’s right for you.   One day, the market is at an all-time high. The next day, the Dow loses hundreds of points. Not more than a week later, the markets spring upward and are acting like that last drop never happened. What’s going on here amid all this volatility? And what impact could it have on your investment plan? Well, for one,…
    women and retirement: isn't it time to include her more in the financial planning conversation?

    Women And Retirement: Why Is The Struggle Harder Than Men?

  • Generally speaking, it’s no secret that people aren’t saving enough for retirement. But when the conversation focuses on women and retirement, that struggle may be even more pronounced than what men face. By Nick Economos We continue to see data that shows women are outliving men yet, in many cases, still aren’t on equal ground with men in terms of salary. Now, new research from Aon Hewitt suggests that 83% of women in the U.S. won’t be able to meet their…
    Brexit

    Brexit, Grexit And Euro Drama For Investors To Sort Through

  • Britain's "Brexit" vote is now official - what's the collateral effect to economies worldwide? Investors may have an avalanche of troubling questions post-Brexit. But FFP aims to alleviate some of the stress. Here we go again. First, we had the drama of the potential “Grexit” of Greece from the European Monetary Union. Now, in a referendum, the citizens of Great Britain have voted to leave the European Union - also known as Brexit. You may be wondering if there’s any…

    What Are Negative Interest Rates And Could They Impact My Portfolio?

  • As we were watching former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan the other day being interviewed about the current state of the economy, he was pessimistic about the economic outlook here and across the globe. That’s not terribly unusual. By his own admission, Alan Greenspan hasn’t been optimistic about the economy in a while. However, there was one item that we did agree with Greenspan on, which is his opinion of negative interest rates. While he didn’t view negative interest rates…
    Chief Retirement Officer Nick Economos shares why your retirement planning should include the days beyond your first day of retirement.

    Is Insurance Really My Best Investment?

  • By Nick Economos Whenever you’ve heard about insurance as an investment option, there’s an excellent chance that you’ve heard pitches rather than plans. The truth is, insurance could be a perfectly fine option to consider, but it’s challenging to know when you’re bombarded with promises like: “It’s got a dividend of 6%!” Not to mention you can get lobbed easy questions like, “How do you feel about risk?” and “How do you feel about taxes?” With your eye on retirement in…
    Chief Retirement Officer Nick Economos shares why your retirement planning should include the days beyond your first day of retirement.

    What If I Reach Retirement And Hate It?

  • By Nick Economos  Can you imagine fearing retirement once you’re actually in it? It’s more legitimate and common than you realize, even as you have a blank canvas for mapping out the rest of your life by engaging in retirement planning. Allow me to illustrate from a client conversation and you’ll see what I mean. Recently, I was contacted by a 401(k) plan participant from a company that I serve as the Chief Retirement Officer for. I’ve had the pleasure of…

    Will Trump’s Fiery Talk Give Investors Heartburn?

  •   “America is going to hell. Our workers are losing their jobs. We have a problem with China. We have a problem with Japan. We have a problem with Mexico both at the border and in trade.”                                - Donald Trump As we’re getting soundbites from candidates every day heading into the home stretch before each party’s respective convention, most of the rhetoric is still deeply rooted…
    Chief Retirement Officer Nick Economos shares why your retirement planning should include the days beyond your first day of retirement.

    Are Blue Chips Really “Safe” Investments?

  • By Nick Economos Something about that Blue Chip stock just seems to be safer to you. After all, it’s a household brand name. It’s listed on that exclusive list of only 30 companies, the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Its earnings appear stable and without much risk. So what could go wrong? It’s an easy assumption to make – and that’s where we’ve seen investors get into trouble. They believe stability yesterday means stability in the future based on the simple…

    Fear Sells, But Should Investors Be Buying?

  • If you consume any kind of financial media, you can’t help but notice a recurring theme: Negativity. Why all the doom and gloom? Our theory is that there’s actually an incentive to scare from the media because it makes for a compelling story that sells. Firms that create financial products stand to benefit from fear too. What’s that? You’re an investor craving greater stability? They’ve got a product for that. Yes, fear sells. However, just because someone is telling you…

    3Q 2014 Market Review Recap

  • By Nicholas Economos, CRPS® The editorial mission of the Fiduciary Advisor blog, and all of our FFP University publications, is to help investors translate the latest market news from a fiduciary perspective — putting their needs first on an active basis. Our quarterly market review webinars are a big part of that. We know that many of our clients don't have time to view the recent Q3 Market Review webinar, so I’ll summarize the key points here. And we’ll try to do this…

    The Longevity Risk of Extended Care Needs — What’s Your Plan?

  • By John Hillman, MBA, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, CLTC Planning how you will make up for any potential shortfalls from reductions in Social Security and Medicare benefits is critical to minimizing longevity risk. My inaugural post for The Fiduciary Advisor went into some detail on this. Another key longevity risk factor to plan for is extended care. If there is at least some risk that you might live long enough to become frail or cognitively impaired — and therefore need the…

    Retirement Funding Risk & Working Longer as “Plan B”

  • Our post for The Fiduciary Advisor briefly discussed funding risk and the fact that most Americans do not adequately contribute to their retirement plans. Funding risk is simply the risk of not having enough money with which to retire. Your contribution rate is very important, but your growth rate, and distribution rate when you eventually stop working, also factor into the equation. Not long ago, the majority of private sector employees had a defined benefit pension with a professional manager…

    Longevity Risk & Social Security — Pay More, Get Less

  •   By John Hillman, MBA, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, CLTC In our last post for The Fiduciary Advisor, we went into detail on investment risk. Another major retirement risk that has increased for many individuals is longevity risk. Simply put, longevity risk is the risk that payout levels are higher than expected due to increasing life expectancy trends. Knowing how much longevity risk you are taking on and how to best mitigate it is a crucial component of fiduciary financial planning. Social…

    Avoiding Investment Distractions & Reactions with Fiduciary Advice

  •   By Nicholas Economos, CRPS® In our inaugural blog post for The Fiduciary Advisor, we discussed how the risks of the American retirement crisis call for fiduciary advice — financial guidance that puts investor needs first by law. In this post, we’ll explore investment risk in more detail. Investment risk can be thought of as simply the risk that an investment’s actual return will be different than expected. As investment decisions have largely shifted from professional pension managers to individuals,…

    The Fiduciary Advisor: Fiduciary Financial Advice Simplified

  • The daunting risks of the American retirement crisis call for fiduciary financial advice — financial guidance that's legally obligated to put investor needs first. In 1983, 62% of private sector employees had a defined benefit pension plan. In 2010, that number was down to 19% as corporations moved to defined contribution plans like the 401(k). Financial planning risks that were largely handled by professional pension plan fiduciaries have almost entirely been handed over to individuals. Many of these individuals are…

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