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Bernard Health Expands Partnership With Financial Advisors: Portfolio Products

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Bernard Health, Nashville-based health insurance advisory firm, is strengthening its partnership model with financial advisors to help individuals navigate their healthcare options.

“The combination of high costs, a constantly changing regulatory environment and insurers pulling out of markets is causing worried consumers to turn to financial planners for advice on what to do about healthcare costs,” according to Bernard Health.

According to Alex Tolbert, founder of Bernard Health, these financial planners and advisors not only see healthcare as falling within their scope as fiduciaries, but also as an opportunity to deliver better, more well-rounded service to their clients.

Financial firms have partnered with Bernard Health for years.  Now Bernard Health has made investments to make its partnerships with financial advisors stronger – to be an extension of the financial advisor’s team. Financial advisory practices can now add a “healthcare extension” with Bernard Health to the services they offer, even enabling Bernard’s team of qualified, licensed and noncommissioned healthcare advisors to help clients in the financial advisor’s own office.

Bernard Health can partner with all types of financial advisors, but the ones who see the most value from a healthcare extension meet two criteria: they see healthcare as material to the financial well-being of their clients and they see how healthcare might fall within their scope as fiduciaries, according to Bernard Health. This can include CFPs, but it also includes investment advisors and broker-dealer reps who have a planning component to their financial advisory practice.

Financial advisors that partner with Bernard Health will give their clients access to Bernard’s suite of products and services, including InsureAdvise (which helps consumers evaluate health plan options and identify strategies for managing health expenses in general), MediGuidance (which helps guide clients who are or will soon be Medicare-eligible) and COBRACounsel (which helps people evaluate COBRA versus other options). Additionally, Bernard advisors help clients of financial advisors track and audit medical bills as well as prepare advanced care plans.

AssetMark Launches Complete Wealth Management Solutions and Resources

AssetMark, Inc. launched a set of solutions designed to help advisors better serve high-net-worth clients called “Complete Wealth Management.”

The Complete Wealth Management offering will give advisors the knowledge set, tools and product offerings needed to provide the holistic financial advice high-net-worth investors require and demand. The offering includes three primary components: cash management resources, wealth services, and custom investments.

The cash management component allows advisors to take a leading role in all aspects of a high-net-worth investors’ cash management by recommending banking and lending products, such as checking accounts, securities-backed lines of credit, concierge mortgage services and expanded FDIC insurance on cash assets.

Advisors can access the wealth services tools to help investors with significant assets manage their estate planning and develop a full wealth transfer strategy to establish their legacy. Additionally, advisors can access a number of custom investment strategies specifically targeted to high-net-worth clients.  

Free Interactive Course Simulates Decision-Making about Investing in Municipal Bonds

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) developed a free, scenario-based course to educate advisers and investors about municipal bonds and help them evaluate how they can fit into a balanced portfolio of investments.

The course, “Exploring Municipal Bonds: A Course for Investors,” uses real-world scenarios to show investor where to get information about municipal bonds and considerations for selecting an individual security.

Appropriate for both professionals and individual investors, the course was developed to supplement the MSRB’s digital Education Center, which provides free, objective information about the municipal bond market.

Investors and advisors may visit MuniEdPro online, create an account and select the free course.

 —Read last week’s portfolio products roundup here: T. Rowe Price Launches Retirement Income 2020 Fund: Portfolio Products


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