Social Security and Medicare, two significant government programs that provide benefits to retirees, are currently experiencing funding shortfalls and concerns about their future solvency. Many advisors have been receiving questions from their clients regarding these issues, prompting us to investigate their responses.
Advisors have been reassuring their clients that these programs are likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future. However, they do anticipate that the benefits provided may become less generous. In light of this, advisors have been taking a conservative approach when creating financial plans, expecting potential delays or reductions in benefits.
The Navy Admiral Leading Goldman’s Custody Biz
Richard Lofgren, head of advisor engagement for Goldman Sachs Advisor Solutions, is also a Navy reservist recently confirmed as a rear admiral. In our recent Advisor Q&A, Lofgren discusses Goldman’s unique position compared to other custodians like Charles Schwab and Fidelity. He recounts how the events of September 11th drew him back into military service and highlights the increasing momentum of Goldman’s custody business, noting that many advisors have transitioned from curiosity to commitment.
UBS Stock Hit by Road Bump
UBS shares took a hit this week, falling approximately 6% after the release of their fourth-quarter results. The Swiss bank and wealth manager faced increased costs due to their acquisition of Credit Suisse, impacting their earnings. While the acquisition bolstered UBS’s global wealth management operations, it also required them to address Credit Suisse’s problems, including significant asset outflows. UBS reported that they have made significant progress in stabilizing their franchise, restructuring their business, and regaining clients’ trust.
What C-suite Execs Should Focus on Now
Members of executive leadership teams at wealth management firms should prioritize specific responsibilities as they confront this year’s challenges, our columnists, consultants with Alpha FMC, write. CEOs, for example, may need to focus less on acquisitions and more on increasing revenue and operating margin organically as interest rates remain elevated. Chief investment officers may need to revisit asset allocation models now that spot Bitcoin ETFs have been approved and alts are becoming widely available.
An Evangelist for Financial Literacy
Ameriprise advisor Kimberly Stewart is the president of the company’s Black Empowerment Advisory Community Network. In ’s The Way Forward podcast, she explains why she evangelizes for financial literacy as part of a goal of helping Black families create generational wealth. “In my community, we often haven’t had wealth,” she says. “We often haven’t had resources, and so many of us are new to money when we get it. And that tends to cause some issues when we make financial decisions.” Although she acknowledges money doesn’t always bring happiness, “What money does get you is freedom and choices,” she says.
Why Advisors Should Be Transparent About Fees
A good way for an advisor to win new clients is to be completely open and clear about fees, a new report from Cerulli Associates finds. Clients’ concerns around costs beat trust as a top hurdle for doing business with a new advisor. Given the variety of ways advisors and their firms receive compensation, it is often challenging for clients to understand how much they pay for financial advice, how they pay for it, and what type of advice they will receive, Cerulli says.
UBS Welcomes Another Prominent Merrill Team
UBS continues to make strategic moves in expanding its advisor teams, with the recent addition of The Hart Group. This four-person team, based in Albany, N.Y, brings a wealth of expertise in managing $1.3 billion in client assets.
Specializing in Serving Athletes and Entertainers
One distinctive aspect of The Hart Group’s practice is their specialization in serving athletes and entertainers. Their in-depth understanding of the unique financial needs and challenges faced by clients in these industries has set them apart as trusted advisors in the field.
UBS’ Growing Strength
UBS has been bolstering its ranks with several notable former Merrill teams in recent weeks. In Chicago, they successfully onboarded a seasoned advisor team that excelled in managing $1.6 billion in client assets. Similarly, in New York, UBS expanded its talent pool by adding an ex-Merrill team that impressively oversaw $2 billion.
As UBS continues to attract experienced professionals and strengthen its presence in key markets, clients can expect an even higher level of service and expertise from the renowned financial institution.