The SEC, the Fed, and Jobs: Advisor Briefing for the Week of August 30, 2010

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  • Risk-Based Oversight of Investment Advisors Even if the SEC had a larger budget and more resources, it is doubtful that the Commission would have the resources to regularly examine all RIAs. Therefore, the SEC is likely to continue relying on risk-based oversight to fulfill its mission of protecting investors.
  • Meeting and Exceeding Clients and Regulators’ Expectations Although it can be difficult, there are ways for RIAs to meet or exceed client expectations, increase customer satisfaction, and help firms retain current clients and attract new ones.

In a business week that may well end early for many on a getaway Friday before the traditional end-of-summer Labor Day weekend, advisor interest and market reaction will likely come from the Monday, August 30 deadline for comments with the SEC on its Dodd-Frank-mandated fiduciary study, release of FOMC minutes on Tuesday, August 31, and on Friday, September 3, the employment report for August.

Looking back at last week, Ben Bernanke sought to ease market fears, and did so successfully for at least one day, helped by the release of better-than-expected Q2 GDP, with his speech at the Kansas City Fed's economic summit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Our Sunday news mash-up looks at the bond bubble and the resurrection of very, very long bonds, while the Weekend Interview features Tom Bradley talking to IA Editor John Sullivan, celebrating his 25th year at what is now TD Ameritrade.

The week begins on Monday, August 30, with the SEC fiduciary comments deadline; we also hear about July personal income and spending.

Tuesday, August 31 brings several measures of retail sales--the Redbook and ICSC-Goldman Sachs reports--as well as a look at August consumer confidence from the Conference Boad and investor confidence from State Street, and the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, all in the morning. In the afternoon comes release of the apparently contentious Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee minutes from August 10.

Wednesday, September 1, brings the August new car sales report and two early indications of the employment situation--the Challenger, Gray and Christmas job-cut report and the ADP National Employment Report. Later in the day, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Romer, speaks to the National Press Club in Washington.

Market-moving news on Thursday, September 1, includes the European Central Bank holding a policy meeting on interest rates, weekly jobless claims in the U.S., along with factory orders from the Census Bureau and the pending home sales report from the National Association of Realtors.

The big political news on the first day of September will likely be the resumption of direct talks after a two-year hiatus between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while TD Bank releases its quarterly results (TD Ameritrade President Tom Bradley spoke to IA Editor John Sullivan on his 25 years at the company in the most recent Weekend Interview.)

The business week ends on Friday, September 3, and the Labor Day weekend begins with the appropriate big news being the 8:30 AM Eastern release of the August jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The consensus seems to be that the 9.5% jobless rate in July will stay unchanged or increase slightly. Also slated to be released is the Institute for Supply Management's Non-Manufacturing Index.

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