PlanPlus Global Blog

Read the latest insights on risk profiling, suitability, financial planning, portfolio planning and the advice industry at large from our internal experts.

Cyborg Model Brings a ‘Warm Body’ to Robo-Advice

Computers are great at crunching lots of numbers and automating tedious tasks, which had many advisors looking nervously over their shoulders at robo-advisors when they emerged. But when it came to building trust and relationships humans won compared with the coldness of an algorithm. The ‘pure’ robo-advice platforms have all struggled to win clients and…

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Suitability Drives Annual Client Reviews

“What’s been happening in your world this past year?” is probably the most important question an advisor can ask in an annual review with a client. And it is all about suitability. Ask them if they need to review or change their investments, insurances, estate planning or financial goals and they’ll almost certainly say no.…

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Financial Planning Software Use Rising in USA

A recent survey shows the use of holistic financial planning software in the USA is rising, as advisors move toward providing a ‘total’ service that extends beyond just picking investments for clients. The trend toward indexing investments and the emergence of robo-advice are both making investment decisions more like a commodity, where price is the…

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The Value of Financial Planning

There’s a lot more to comprehensive financial planning than just putting together an investment portfolio. However, the performance of a portfolio is often the only benchmark of the ‘value’ of financial advice. But investment performance does not account for the other benefits which accrue from receiving comprehensive financial advice. Giving someone a comprehensive financial plan…

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Advisors Can Only Rely on Psychometric Testing

If you’ve ever been told you are a four-character personality type, such as a ISTJ, INFJ or ESTJ, you’ve met the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test. It was most probably while you were dealing with a recruiter or human-resources person, but unfortunately they learned nothing about you from this test — because it does not work.…

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SEC’s New ‘Regulation Best Interest’ Rule Sparks Controversy

The SEC’s new ‘Regulation Best Interest’ standard requires broker-dealers to act in the client’s ‘best interest’ which, it is argued, is a higher standard than the FINRA suitability rule. But critics are not so sure. There are a number of opponents lining up to attack the new SEC rule. They generally argue that the rule…

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Freezing of UK Fund Triggers Global Alarm Liquidity Risk Alarm

Questions are being asked around the world about the liquidity risks of funds invested in unlisted or illiquid assets, after a major UK fund was forced to suspend trading when it could not sell assets quick enough to meet redemption requests. The £3.6 billion Woodford Equity Income Fund was suspended on 3 June, due to…

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Tracking, Monitoring, and Maintaining Suitability

Tracking, monitoring and maintaining suitability Suitability is judged at a point in time — but things can change! Suitability has to be tracked, monitored and maintained as required. On the client-side, the change could come in a number of ways. The client might have had a change in their financial objectives, which means previous arrangements…

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Professional Judgement or Just My Opinion?

Advisors must reconcile conflicts between a client’s risk tolerance, risk capacity, risk need, composure, previous experience, time horizon and more in determining an investor profile and resulting personalized investment policy. There is little or no body of knowledge on how these trade-offs occur or what constitutes a “best practice” in applying “Professional Judgment” to ensure…

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