FSR In Focus

Insight from industry leaders, bringing color and scope to topics like cybersecurity, housing finance, regulatory tailoring, tax reform, economic growth, FinTech innovation, and more.

The Markets, DoL, Trump and What we can Learn from the UK

August 26, 2015

The market turmoil of the past few days has put many investors on edge about the state of the world’s financial markets. Many mom and pop investors may not be as tuned into the political dynamics shaping China’s recent decision to devalue its currency, a decision that has led to a worldwide market reaction. If When watching the news, the stark image of the stock “heat map” lit up in red is a scary one for any investor, particularly for those whose retirement future can deteriorate in a flash. While it’s too soon to know if the market volatility will be short lived, it is clear that any uncertainty can often make level-headed people invested in the market want to react to protect their nest eggs.

“The Anatomy of an Elder Scam”: BITS Releases Infographic on Common Money Scams Plaguing Older Americans

August 17, 2015

It is estimated that more than 5 million people over the age of 60 become victims of financial elder abuse each year, costing billions of dollars. As more members of the baby boomer generation reach retirement age, the pool of targets for elder fraud grows larger.

FSR’s BITS division recently released an infographic (below) highlighting some of the top scams that are plaguing older generations today, along with warning signs that family and front-line financial services employees can watch for to detect elder financial abuse.

A New FFIEC Issued Cybersecurity Assessment Tool to Address Cyber Risk

July 24, 2015

On Wednesday, July 22nd, the Federal Register published a “request for information” concerning the recently released Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) “Cybersecurity Assessment Tool” (“Assessment”). This request provides a 60-day window – a September 21st deadline – for the public to provide comments on use of the Assessment and improvements to it for future iterations. The Assessment’s aim is to “assist” banking institutions in determining their level of “inherent” cyber risk and their ability to manage those threats.

Going Beyond the Sound Bite – Fiduciary is Complicated, so How Do You Keep it Simple?

July 21, 2015

For years, efforts have been afoot to redefine what it means to be a fiduciary when providing financial advice to clients. The question is straightforward, “Should your financial professional act in your best interest?” The answer is, “Yes. Of course, they should.”

Anyone worth their salt in the financial services industry has to do what’s right for their clients, or they won’t be in business for very long. The trouble is, when you start to use words like “fiduciary duty” and then insert federal and state regulators with different rules governing investment and retirement products and the professionals that serve clients saving for retirement, that very straightforward question, as with most things in regulation, gets, well, complicated.

Calls to Renew Glass-Steagall: Nostalgic but Outdated Depression-Era Regulations Overlook Today’s Realities

July 21, 2015

This year’s edition of Sports IIlustrated’s “Where Are They Now” issues includes a piece by Steve Rushin noting how we as humans, and particularly sports fans, can fall into the habit of idealizing the past.

For some people, Muhammad Ali will always be the greatest boxing champion and Joe Montana will remain the epitome of what it means to be an NFL quarterback. Other athletes may compete and do well, but they are still compared unfavorably to the athletes who played when “the game was played the right way.”

The Advice Yield – How to Achieve the Best Deal for Savers

July 16, 2015

Benjamin Franklin famously said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

This philosophy is especially relevant to workers who are increasingly responsible for navigating their way to a financially secure retirement due to a decline in defined pension plans and the tenuous future of Social Security. This can be a daunting task for many who feel intimidated by the markets and fearful of making uninformed investment decisions that will dramatically shape their ability to retire with ease.