As the New Year begins, many people focus on setting physical fitness goals as part of their resolutions. While this is important, it is equally crucial to consider financial health. As individuals progress in life, their financial situations tend to become more complex. This may mean that a DIY approach is no longer sufficient, and seeking professional guidance becomes necessary. Financial advisors can help self-directed investors improve their financial outlook by assisting with investment strategies and goal realization in both the short and long term.

Seeking Professional Help

There are seven key areas where financial advisors can provide valuable assistance. These areas include:

  1. Preparing for Negative Events
  2. Negotiating Competing Priorities Among Family Members

By enlisting the help of an advisor, individuals can gain peace of mind and confidence in their financial decisions.

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Resolutions for Clients

In the world of financial advising, dispensing advice is only one part of the equation. Encouraging clients to follow that advice can be a challenge. In this week's Big Q feature, top advisors reveal what resolutions they would make for their clients. From setting ambitious goals to taking calculated risks and stepping back from market fluctuations, advisors aim to ensure their clients have a robust and updated long-term financial plan.

As we embark on the new year, let's remember to prioritize not just our physical well-being but also our financial health. Seeking professional guidance and embracing strategic financial planning can lead to a brighter and more secure future.

DOL Receives Extensive Feedback on Retirement Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently faced a deluge of comments regarding its proposal to expand fiduciary obligations for retirement advisors. This comes after the department's previous attempt in 2016, which was ultimately struck down in court. With more than 19,000 comments submitted, opinions varied greatly. Some voiced strong support for the proposal, advocating for increased fiduciary standards. Others, however, criticized the rule, expressing concerns that it would force many advisors to abandon the retirement market.

Strong Start for M&A Deals in the New Year

While there was a slight decline in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity within the registered investment advisor (RIA) space towards the end of 2023, the first few days of 2024 have already seen four new deal announcements. Notably, Waverly Advisors acquired StrategIQ Financial Group, a $1.5 billion firm, in the largest deal. Additionally, Dakota Wealth Management, Mercer Advisors, and Mariner Wealth Advisors also made their respective announcements. Market expert David DeVoe predicts that 2024 will witness a rebound in deal activity as lower interest rates may provide easier access to capital.

Exclusive Interview with Cetera Holdings CEO Mike Durbin

This week, we had the opportunity to speak with Mike Durbin, CEO of Cetera Holdings. Durbin, a former executive at Fidelity, discussed the reasoning behind Cetera's acquisitions of Securian's retail wealth management business, Avantax, and The Retirement Planning Group in the preceding year. He also outlined Cetera's goals in the RIA custody space and shed light on the significance of private-equity firm Genstar's recent reinvestment in Cetera for the company's future.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

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