With increasing competition from low-cost robo-advisors, traditional financial planners are seeking new ways to capture clients by differentiating their services from those found in cyberspace. Many advisors are emphasizing that face-face relationships can’t be replaced by impersonal web offerings. At the same time, advisors are returning to basics.
At first blush, it is easy to dismiss the merits of offering socially responsible portfolios. After all, limiting portfolios can potentially limit returns and individual clients may have different criteria for applying socially responsible screens, which can increase the need for advisors to customize their services.
The combination of holiday season goodwill and year-end tax planning means December is typically a big month for Americans to make donations to charities. Under an ideal scenario, investors’ will make donations to organizations that share their values and are highly efficient in making sure that donations aren’t squandered on administrative expenses and unreasonably high employee salaries. At the same time, it’s important to complete charitable giving transactions in a manner that maximizes tax advantages. For financial planners, therefore, providing charitable giving assistance can be a powerful way to strengthen client relationships and improve prospecting efforts.
A raging bull market, increasing home values, and a big drop in gasoline prices are helping U.S. consumers feel more confident about their finances. Indeed, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index reached 86.9 in October, which was its highest reading since July of 2007.
With the Republicans winning control of the Senate in the midterm elections, the focus of Congress is expected to change, especially considering that the party also strengthened its control of the House of Representatives. Needless to say, many Republicans campaigned on a pro-economic growth platform that calls for tax reform, government spending cuts, and changes to regulations that would make the country more business friendly.