While the influence of the Covid -19 pandemic continued in 2021, other news and trends in financial services came to dominate headlines throughout the year. Much of the most significant news of 2021 concerned President Joe Biden — such as his tapping of Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission — and potential changes in tax rules that aim to raise government funding for different economic and social programs.
But the rising popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies also made waves, as the financial markets generally remained robust. Over the past year, though, prices have risen due to supply chain and related issues.
This led to a higher Social Security cost of living adjustment, for instance, and there will be a hike in Medicare premiums, too. There have also been numerous discussions in Congress about the impact of potential tax changes on retirement plans, including Roth IRAs.
Meanwhile, several high-profile criminal cases and other scandals in the broker-dealer space attracted lots of attention on social media and beyond. There also have been lots of shifts tied to mergers and acquisitions this year in the rapidly consolidating financial services industry.
The gallery above looks at some of the most influential portfolio developments involving advisors, asset managers and investment firms this year through mid-November.