Ever since day one, when I started my financial services career at Ameriprise Financial, American Express Financial Advisors as it was known at the time, we were taught planning first. What does that mean?
Some time ago, a number of consultants in the financial services industry did a study and found practicing holistic financial planning, will do a better job for the clients, and in turn generate more fees for the companies. By offering the total package, investments, insurance, banking services and others, the sales people would by compensated on all of the products instead of just their own specialty. In turn, the clients were to benefit because products would not be overlooked. In turn, more and more companies started positioning themselves as financial advisors/consultants. It was to be a win win situation for everyone.
The problem is, not everyone, not by a long shot, who calls themselves a financial advisor actually practices holistic planning and financial management. So you have Brokers, Accountants, Insurance sales people, and even real estate agents battling it out for the title of Financial Advisor. The people who get “screwed” for the lack of a better word are the clients out there, who have different expectations of what one financial professional is actually supposed to provide for them.
This week, the United States Supreme Court rendered a decision on President Obama’s health bill. Having my mother ask me about it, I knew it was a big deal. Having discussed the insurance industry and Obamacare with people on an individual basis, I now want to take the opportunity and put thoughts to
paper blog post so that anyone would be able to see my insights on this and partake in the discussion.
While the entire bill is thousands of pages, the largest issue by far is the individual mandate and establishment of individual insurance exchanges. This specific issue is also the one on which the success of this bill hinges on.
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Want to wish everyone a very happy father’s day celebration. Hope you have a chance to fire up your BBQ and enjoy the day with your family…. and watch the Greek Elections of course. =)
Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Bloomberg/Aberdeen Investments conference in NYC, with a panel of economists and other experts discussing the Greek and European crisis. Will not bore you with the details, however will leave it with this.
The European crisis is primarily about consumer, private debt. The consumer is now trying to deleverage (pay down their debt), and as a result, is not spending so much in the economy. To a degree, similar to what we faced here in 2008 trying to pay down the home equity debt.
While this crisis in Europe is big, the key thing to keep in mind, crisis will come and go. An easy way to think about the situation is to think of a long dark hallway, where the only thing you can see is a light at the end, however you do not know what obstacles are in the way.
This is where we are right now, we know we will get through this, however we just do not know how long it will take. Europe will not fall apart much like the world did not end here in 2008. Can it get a bit panicky and volatile? Sure, but that is to be expected.
In any case, the elections in Greece tomorrow in most likely case will be good news anyway.
Scenario 1 is, the New Democracy party wins and they support the EU Euro Austerity plans. Euro Central Bank will step in and support as necessary.
Scenario 2 is, the Liberal party wins, and want to leave the Euro Zone, the Euro Central Bank steps in to support the rest of the Euro Zone.
In all seriousness, Greece does not even matter that much in the grand scheme. Rhode Island’s economy is the size of Greece. The US and Emerging Market economies will pick up the slack and help Europe recover. Two countries in particular, China and Russia, sitting on their surpluses can come in handy to raise money for EU economies.
On Tuesday will have a blog post recapping the weekend results and discuss something on everyone’s mind… the measly 1% 10 year CD rate. =)