Editor's Choice for the Week of November 2, 2009: Volatility and Voting, the Fed and Jobs

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from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Disaster Recovery Plans and Succession Planning RIAs owe a fiduciary duty to clients to prepare for disasters and other contingencies. If an RIA does not have a disaster recovery plan, clients’ financial well-being may be jeopardized.  RIAs should also engage in succession planning, ensuring a smooth transaction if an owner or principal leaves.   
  • Client Commission Practices and Soft Dollars RIAs should always evaluate whether the products and services they receive from broker-dealers are appropriate. The SEC suggested that an RIA’s failure to stay within the scope of the Section 28(e) safe harbor may violate the advisor’s fiduciary duty to clients, so RIAs must evaluate their soft dollar relationships on a regular basis to ensure they are disclosed properly and that they do not negatively impact the best execution of clients’ transactions.

Now that we know we're out of the recession, following last week's GDP report, which found that the economy expanded 3.5% in the third quarter, why is there still so much volatility, and where are the jobs?

This week advisors and their clients will be watching market volatility early--the Dow fell 249 points on October 30 following a 200 point upswing on October 29, leaving it unchanged for the month--while in the middle of the week the FOMC will be meeting, and on Friday the October jobs report will be released (with Congress's Joint Economic Committee holding hearings on those numbers right after their release Friday morning, November 6).

Also likely to move markets this week is the fallout from the CIT bankruptcy on November 1, and earnings reports from Berkshire Hathaway (maybe), Hartford Financial Services and Prudential Financial, and Nasdaq OMX.

The full House and Senate are in session this week, and on November 3, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee holds hearings on the higher health costs faced by small businesses.

Rep. Barney Frank's House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to finish its markup of the Investor Protection Act, and begin marking up several other financial services reform bills on November 3, including HR 2609, the Federal Insurance Office Act of 2009.

The Fed's Open Market Committee begins its two days of talks on November 3, and releases its statement on November 4. (While on the Fed's site, you might want to read Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo's testimony on what the Fed is doing to get its house in order regarding financial services reform.)

The auto sales report is released on November 3, as are factory orders.

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