Financial Blog

Acme Lift Has New Financial Planning and Analysis Director

Watch your tongue: Terms that help — and hurt — the planning profession

The words we use to describe ourselves can give us a wind at our backs, or they can generate a wind in our faces. This especially applies to the financial planning sector, in part because the profession has yet to define itself in the public mind with crystal clarity.

In the minds of many consumers, professional planners are mentally lumped in with the brokerage industry, which nearly brought down capitalism in its pursuit of obscene profits. Meanwhile, the press seems to be as confused as the public about who is and is not working on behalf of clients and consumers.

How can we change this? Let me offer a few linguistic recommendations.

First, we need to say "the profession" instead of "the industry" when we talk about investment advice and financial planning. Yes, I know that there is no formal profession yet (a point I make in my upcoming book, The New Profession), but if we describe people who are giving financial planning and investment advice as professionals, we plant a seed of truth in the public's mind. Those who work on behalf of clients (rather than as a way to win sales contests or generate the most commissions) are acting as professionals, and we have reached the stage where we should start describing them that way.

Santa Clarita Financial Advisor On Retirement Planning: 'Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket'

Total Financial Solutions offers assistance with preparing for retirement and financial planning in Santa Clarita and the surrounding valleys. Santa Clarita financial advisor Arif M. Halaby, a Certified Estate Planner, and Total Financial Solutions staff work with people of all ages, helping them protect, grow and preserve their assets through an individualized approach. Halaby is also the host of "Total Financial Solutions Safer Money Hour" on KHTS AM-1220. Launched in 2004, the show offers listeners from Santa Clarita financial planning tips and guidance for dealing with today's ever-changing financial needs.  

Total Financial Solutions, Inc.

24322 Main Street

Newhall, CA 91321



After trading halt, Betterment suffers its own Brexit shock

It was a move intended to protect investors from market volatility.

But a decision by Betterment to temporarily suspend trading the morning after the Brexit vote -- shutting out its retail and institutional clients until nearly noon -- has the wealth management industry wondering aloud if the robo adviser harmed its reputation instead.

Competitors in the digital advice space are eager to point out they did not and would not take such action, questioning Betterments read of the market that morning. Some advisers express concern about how the decision was communicated and have lingering questions about Betterments policy regarding trading suspension.

I was disappointed, says JR Robinson, a Betterment Institutional client and owner of Financial Planning Hawaii. I thought it was a sign of immaturity on the part of Betterment.

The notion they would halt trading on a 2% market drop; I was very surprised," he adds, echoing the opinion of other advisers. "I couldn't imagine if Vanguard would ever do the same thing.

Betterments decision also serves as a potential warning for financial advisers as they begin pairing up with platforms in an evolving era of digitally enabled advice, says Michael Kitces, partner and director of wealth management for Pinnacle Advisory Group in Columbia, Md., and co-founder of the XY Planning Network, which has a partnership with Betterment Institutional.

Be certain you pick a TAMP that aligns with your investment philosophy and view of the markets, Kitces says.

Betterment, which now manages nearly $5 billion of client and institutional accounts, is adamant the suspension decision was anything but impulsive, according to spokesman Joe Ziemer. It was a prudent decision made in our role as a fiduciary.

Ziemer says the firm closely watched as news outlets began reporting a potential victory for the campaign in Britain to leave the European Union.

Although US markets would not open for another 12 hours, a number of indicators gave a clear preview. US equity index futures, which trade overnight, revalued substantially, Ziemer wrote in an email. European markets, which opened at 3 am EST, were roiling. As our team monitored this activity overnight, it became apparent that the US market open would be extremely rocky and unpredictable -- in other words, a poor environment for long-term investors.

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