Financial Planning Insights from Research: Concepts Practitioners Can Use (November 2019)
Although most financial services professionals read many practitioner articles related to their field, many sources from the academic press and specialty journals contain valuable information that can be helpful in their practices. Often the concepts, techniques, and/or presentations in these resources are not user-friendly. In this article, the authors have attempted to identify relevant articles in academic and specialty publications over the past year and to summarize them in a nontechnical manner, although it must be emphasized that it is not possible to provide the complete depth and full context of the actual articles. The topics chosen represent three areas of special interest to financial services professionals: estate planning, retirement planning, and investment planning.
Author: David M. Cordell, PhD, CFA, CFP, CLU, is a clinical professor of finance at the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson, TX. He is an author/coauthor of five books and over 60 academic and practitioner articles on investments, insurance, and financial planning topics. He has served as chair of CFP Board’s Council on Examinations and the Certified Investment Management Analyst Certification Commission, and as a grader and standard setter for Level 3 of the Chartered Financial Analyst examination. He was formerly a professor at The American College and Texas Tech University.
Author: Mitzi K. Lauderdale, JD, CFP, is an associate professor of personal financial planning at Texas Tech University, serves as associate dean for students, and is adjunct faculty at the Texas Tech School of Law. She has received many honors for her teaching, and is a member of the prestigious Teaching Academy at Texas Tech in which she serves on the executive council. She has published articles on estate planning, special needs financial planning, and student success in higher education. Book publications include an estate planning textbook as well as chapters on special needs financial planning. Mitzi is also a member of the Texas Bar.
Author: Jared Pickens, EdD, CFP, AFC, is an assistant professor of economics and serves as interim department head of the College of Innovation and Design at Texas A&M University–Commerce. Dr. Pickens has received awards in both academia and the private sector, including the Outstanding Teaching Award at the University of Texas at Dallas, and both the Engaged Faculty Award and Outstanding Service and Dedication Award at Texas A&M University–Commerce. He was also the recipient of the Chairman’s Award given by the Financial Planning Association of Dallas/Fort Worth. He has published articles in the areas of practice management, agency costs and fees, and higher education finance. Dr. Pickens has been director of two university financial planning programs registered with CFP Board, and he teaches retirement planning and financial planning capstone courses.
Final Rules Developed for the Section 199A Deduction (September 2019)
Treasury issued Treasury Decision 9847 on February 8, 2019, providing final regulations for the determination of the amount of the deduction (of up to 20 percent) for qualified domestic businesses. The preamble to the final regulations is approximately 61 pages, which includes responses by the Treasury and the IRS to questions raised by over 335 responders to the proposed regulations. Although many of the comments and requests are addressed in the final regulations, Treasury and the IRS do acknowledge there are some issues that will still need further thought before guidance is provided. In this article, the focus is on those decided issues that are more relevant to those in the financial services area.
Author: Anthony P. Curatola, PhD, is the Joseph F. Ford Professor of Accounting and Tax at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He is the editor of the monthly tax column appearing in Strategic Finance.
Author: J. William Harden, PhD, CPA, ChFC, is an associate professor of accounting in the Bryan School of Business and Economics at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Bill researches and consults in the areas of taxation and financial planning for small businesses and individuals.
The Risk of Financial Information Overload (July 2019)
While financial literacy is a daunting challenge in an increasingly complex society, it is not necessarily the root communication problem for the advisor and client. The concern may instead be that there is simply too much information to deal with. The threat is financial information overload. It is the financial advisor who can help clients sort through the clutter of financial information and figure out what’s important.
Author: Steve Parrish, JD, RICP, CLU, ChFC, RHU, AEP, is the codirector for the New York Life Center for Retirement Income Planning at The American College of Financial Services. He is also an adjunct professor at both The American College and Drake University Law School.
A New Qualifying Event: The In-Marriage QDRO® (May 2019)
The utilization of qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs) as an estate planning or financial tool for married couples is a recent development starting to gain national attention. The strategy, known as the In-Marriage QDRO®, incorporates the ability of spouses to contract under state law with the enforcement mechanism of a QDRO under federal law. It has been used by estate planning attorneys in multiple states to delay required minimum distributions, fund Roth IRAs for previously unqualified parties, and Medicaid planning for long-term care needs. It has also been used by clients of financial planners to diversify 401(k) investments, fund self-directed IRAs, and obtain emergency liquidations without paying the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty.
Author: Marcus T. Foote, JD, is a partner at Kuehne & Foote, APLC, where he focuses exclusively on community property divisions, military divorces, and qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs). He has been board certified in the area of family law by the Louisiana Board of Specialization since January 2002. Mr. Foote is a former chairman of the Louisiana State Bar Association Family Law Council, as well as past president of the Baton Rouge Bar Association Family Law section. In 1992, Mr. Foote earned his bachelor of arts, with honors, from the Louisiana Scholars’ College Regents Program located at Northwestern State University. In 1995, Mr. Foote earned his JD from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University. Mr. Foote has been qualified in multiple Louisiana courts as an expert witness in the evaluation of retirement plans and QDROs.
Environmental, Social, and Governance Forces Driving the Fiduciary Standard Forward (November 2018)
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues will become increasingly important to 21st century fiduciary advisors and their clients. Advisors need to acquire the education and skills necessary to provide competent advice taking into account ESG risk factors if they want to look out for the best interest of their clients.
Author: James Pasztor, MSF, MPAS, CFP, is the vice president of Academic Affairs and a professor with the College for Financial Planning.
An Introduction to Big Data (September 2018)
This column provides an introduction to the use of big data and data analytics within the financial services profession. Although the concept of big data is not new, the tools and techniques used to analyze large data sets are becoming more sophisticated and precise. Based on new methodologies, it is likely that big data will fundamentally change the way in which financial advisors practice in the future.
Author: John E. Grable, PhD, CFP, holds an Athletic Association endowed professorship at the University of Georgia, where he conducts research and teaches financial planning. He is best known for his work related to financial risk tolerance assessment and psychophysiological economics. He serves as the director of the Financial Planning Performance Laboratory at the University of Georgia.
Author: Angela C. Lyons, PhD, is an associate professor and the director for the Center for Economic and Financial Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her PhD in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where she specialized in advanced applied microeconometrics. She is widely recognized as an international expert in household and behavioral economics. Her research includes work related to the impacts of financial planning, counseling, and education on households’ decision making, financial security, and health and well-being.