If you’re like me, spring cleaning gets interrupted by tax time. Piles of paper build up around the house. The desk looks about as messy as the garage …
While this situation usually corrects itself after April 15 (or 18), other steps in the post-winter decluttering and reorganizing drive take more deliberation. At Research, we’ve decided not to throw out any content, but to divide it into three tidy topics: Product & Industry Updates, Planning & Retirement Insights and Portfolio Perspectives.
This month, we begin the Product & Industry Updates section with a look at the recently released Department of Labor fiduciary standard. The new rule was expected for some time, but — of course — the devil is in the details.
Columnist Mark Elzweig shares his views on the DOL issue and its impact on recruiting, as well as the industry overall, in this month’s “Recruiter’s Reflections.” Given the complexity of the new rule, we will be examining this issue in greater depth next month and in future issues.
In the Planning & Retirement Insights section, Scott Stolz tackles the complex issue of what happens to annuities in the divorce process. Michael Finke breaks down the threat posed by robo-advisors, while Jane Wollman Rusoff describes why investors worry about interacting with registered reps.
Our cover story looks at the life and achievements of John Taft, the retiring head of wealth management for RBC in the United States. Taft has given generously of his time to industry groups and is one of many leaders who epitomizes the type of professional clients need not fear — and rather should embrace.
In the Portfolio Perspectives section, columnist Bob Seawright analyzes the tough issue of why stellar performance is getting harder to achieve in the financial services business. He points to an argument made by scientist Stephen Jay Gould: as skill increases and moves toward human limits, the disparity between the average and the great narrows.
I remain skeptical about this in light of what’s happening in the sports world (though I haven’t done much statistical research … yet). I live just a couple miles away from where Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry is helping his team break NBA records. And look at how fantastic Kawhi Leonard of my San Antonio Spurs is doing!
I could describe similar feats by players in the National Hockey League, but that would take away from the limited time I currently have to watch the San Jose Sharks compete in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And it would further divert my attention from much-neglected but desperately needed spring cleaning.