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Don’t be scared of giving the right advice
Advisers should not shy away from giving advice they themselves would not follow for fear of what the regulator might think, Rory Percival has said.

New Canadian research suggests trail commissions do more harm than good
In essence, the regulators signalled that the issue of trailing commissions' legitimacy has reached a defining moment and, from this point forward, there will be no tolerance for the casting of bogus doubts on scientific proof pertaining to that matter. Such tactics will not be allowed to disrupt development of regulatory policy on the reform of mutual fund fees. This is especially relevant to the question of whether trailing commissions are harmful and should be banned.

Product suitability "checklists" are counterproductive
The regulator will not issue checklists for advisers to allow them to stick to a particular protocol when assessing product suitability for their clients because they are "counterproductive", technical specialist Rory Percival has said.

What Advisors Can Learn From Apple
The marketers at Apple have earned another fist bump for their new iPhone 6 campaign. I love how they stay grounded in what is known (we like our phones) while also making it clear they have moved the product to the next level to something truly new. Smartphones have become incredibly personal and indispensable to us, and with the iPhone 6 ads, the product is portrayed as more responsive, insightful and intuitive, like a friend. With the new features, “The only thing that’s changed is everything!” We can learn a lot from this campaign if we want our industry to be better

You’ve Got Style: Why And How You Must Let It Shine
Sure, your business must be built on substance—a strong and growing client base, effective communication with clients and a knowledgeable, efficient staff under your competent leadership. But style matters too. And whether you know it or not, you have a style, and it’s vital to emphasize it in order to set yourself apart in a way that is appealing to current and new clients. There’s another word for style: personality.

Robo-advice: Report detects 'elephant in the room'
The biggest obstacle blocking robo-advisers' path to prominence is the same problem that plagues the entire financial services sector - the almighty cost of acquiring clients, according to an eye-opening report.

The Wise Woman And The Millennial
What follows is an interview by Paul Ellis, a well-known advisor and consultant on sustainable investing strategies, with Geri Pell, a Barron's Top 100 Women Advisor and CEO of Pell Wealth Partners, and Katherine "Katie" Burstein McGinn, an advisor at Pell's firm, that provides insight on bringing more women and millennials into financial planning careers.

US DoL moves to tighten regulation around retirement advice
The U.S. Department of Labor has released a proposed rule that will protect 401(k) and IRA investors by mitigating the effect of conflicts of interest in the retirement investment marketplace. A White House Council of Economic Advisers analysis found that these conflicts of interest result in annual losses of about 1 percentage point for affected investors — or about $17 billion per year in total. Under the proposals, retirement advisers will be required to put their clients' best interests before their own profits. Those who wish to receive payments from companies selling products they recommend and forms of compensation that create conflicts of interest will need to rely on one of several proposed prohibited transaction exemptions.

What does your junior advisor do?
“Junior” advisors are critical for the success of a firm, but their roles and responsibilities in an advisory firm are often misunderstood and frequently mismanaged. To begin with, “junior” advisors hate being called “junior.” They are often neither young nor inexperienced, and while they are not yet at the top of their professions, they can make an immediate contribution to the productivity and profitability of any firm.

Advisor Compensation: The Value of Investing in Talent
The RIA industry is growing and evolving at a remarkable pace. As the industry has matured, independent registered investment advisory (RIA) firms have grown in size and complexity along with it. Responses from more than one-third of firms participating in Schwab’s 2014 RIA Benchmarking Study[i] indicate that they have doubled their assets under management (AUM) and revenues since 2009. The rapid growth has made the industry landscape more competitive. RIA firms today are working harder not only to build and sustain their businesses, but also to secure and retain quality talent for their firms. Attracting and retaining top talent is more competitive than ever, but it’s also more important than ever. Study results suggest that the firms who attract and retain quality employees are more profitable than average firms in their peer groups. They also report that they are growing faster, and as a result, they tend to be more focused on prioritizing talent as part of a strategic imperative. A competitive compensation plan for all employees is an essential element of a firm’s overall strategic goals.

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