Editor's Choice for the Week of December 28, 2009: Paying for Healthcare, and Holiday Sales

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Preventing and Dealing with Client Complaints Although the SEC has not provided specific guidance on how client complaints should be handled, a firm’s policies and procedures should provide clear direction how to do so, as neglecting complaints can exacerbate a bad situation.
  • Do’s and Don’ts of Advisory Contracts In preparation for a compliance exam, securities regulators typically will ask to see copies of an RIAs advisory agreements. An RIA must be able to produce requested contracts and the contracts must comply with applicable SEC or state rules.

The big news last week was the Senate passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, its version of a healthcare reform bill, along strict party lines on Christmas Eve by a vote of 60-39 (Republican Jim Bunning, the baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and lameduck junior senator from Kentucky, had family commitments, of all things, and missed the vote). While both House and Senate are off until the week of January 5, much of the first month of the New Year will be taken up with a conference committee trying to come up with legislation that will pass muster in both chambers and, ideally, not add to your clients' tax burden or the federal deficit.

The Congressional Budget Office on December 19th estimated that if enacted, the legislation would increase to 94% (from 83%) the number of nonelderly Americans covered by some form of health insurance.

On December 23, the CBO director's blog released an estimate on what the Senate bill would mean for Medicare funding; it said the legislation would cut growth in Medicare payments to roughly 6% annually rather than at the 8% clip at which it has been growing.

This last holiday-shortened week of the year will also see reports on retail sales, the Conference Board consumer confidence index, the State Street Investor Confidence Index, the Case-Shiller home price index, and weekly jobless claims.

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