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Passive equity funds overtake active counterparts

Assets in US index-based equity mutual funds and exchange-traded funds exceeded assets in active stock funds for the first time in August, after years of growth for passive investment. The shift represents a milestone for the financial industry. Bloomberg

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3 major retirement bills await action by the Senate

The lives of millions of Americans in retirement could be shaped by three major pieces of legislation awaiting action in the Senate, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act and the Retirement Security and Savings Act. It isn’t clear whether any of…

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Group appeals decision upholding N.Y. best-interest standard

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York is appealing a decision by acting Albany County Supreme Court Justice Henry Zwack that upholds a state best-interest standard for the sale of annuities and life insurance. Some major insurers have stopped selling annuities in New York as a result of…

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Encourage clients to communicate estate plans before death

Clients should communicate with their families about their estate plans to avoid the “big reveal” after they die, writes Brad Wheeler of AssetMark Trust Co. He suggests encouraging clients to sit down with family members and explain decisions or do so in a written document. WealthManagement

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7 states, D.C. sue to stop SEC broker-recommendation rule

Seven states and the District of Columbia have asked a US court to strike down a rule from the Securities and Exchange Commission that lets brokers recommend products that benefit the broker as long as conflicts of interest are disclosed to clients. The plaintiffs say in their court filing the…

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Emotional insights make for better retirement planning

An understanding of emotional and personal issues can help advisors provide additional value for clients and help them make a successful transition to retired life. Clients may face certain challenges after leaving the workforce, including a potentially diminished social circle. Financial Advisor online

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Why buying life insurance in your 20s may be a good decision

People who bought life insurance policies in their 20s explain why they are glad they did. Several mentioned the peace of mind it provides, while one pointed out that he avoided higher premiums based on risk factors that showed up later in life. Business Insider

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Advisors can help clients tweak LTC policy to blunt premium increases

Long-term-care insurance costs are soaring because of a number of factors, including longer lifespans and low interest rates. Financial advisors can help clients facing premium increases by looking for areas to tweak their policies to keep costs down, such as reducing benefit periods and increasing waiting periods. CNBC

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Often what clients really need is a little reassurance

Financial professionals can better serve clients in turbulent market conditions by offering reassurance rather than trying to instruct them on complicated financial and economic issues, says Susan Czochara of Northern Trust Asset Management. She suggest advisors present clients with historical data that shows market downturns are followed by periods of…

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Survey: “Advisor” title has favorable connotation for consumers

Investors expected a higher level of service from financial professionals using the title “financial advisor,” “investment advisor” or “financial planner” than those called “stockbroker,” “investment salesperson” or “life insurance agent,” a study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University found. Participants felt that professionals with advice-oriented titles were more…

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