Tax-smart tips to rebalance your clients’ portfolios

If you haven’t rebalanced some of your clients’ portfolios recently, you may be overdue. After all, in the five years ended September 30, 2017, the CRSP US Total Market Index was up a cumulative 94.3% while the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Float Adjusted Index was up only a cumulative 10.8%,

Mind the trust gap

In today’s world, the importance of trust cannot be overstated. Whether for self-driving automobiles or financial advisory relationships, people need to trust in a good, service, or fellow human being in order to secure their physical or financial well-being. And while I don’t believe the importance of trust is

Deliver authenticity—It’s what clients crave

Living near food-obsessed Philadelphia makes it easy to find great places to eat. There are hidden gems and long-standing institutions for every craving imaginable. People’s tastes vary, but I’ve found that, as with a financial advisor, people value authenticity above all else. Diners and investors both appreciate establishments that are up-front

HSAs: The tax code’s next sleeper hit

The tax code is a monument to complexity and tedium. Once in a while, however, a few lines of text buried deep in a subchapter can produce a sleeper hit, an account or a planning strategy that goes on to play an outsize role in our financial lives. The 401(k) plan

Let’s raise the bar for financial planning

I just got back from attending the Financial Planning Association (FPA) Annual Conference in Nashville. I was thrilled to participate on the panel session “Digital technology and the evolution of financial planning.” The FPA Conference has always been a big event for Vanguard. Our shared commitment to the profession of financial

Observations on the advisor industry: From Australia to the U.S.

In January 2017 my wife, our two children (a 10-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son), and I arrived in Malvern, Pennsylvania—a journey of approximately 10,000 miles from our home in Melbourne, Australia. When we left Melbourne, it was 105°F, and when we touched down, it was a frosty 18°F. The

The Silent Killer….Margin Debt

In recent years, many people who have been concerned about market volatility but equally frustrated with low interest rates, or no safe accumulation investment opportunities, have all been contributing to a growing surplus of cash.  This surplus of cash piling up in savings accounts translates to people having missed out

Set a course toward your client’s required return

When my father taught me how to sail, one of the first lessons was that steering an accurate course and paying attention to the compass were important. A compass has 360 degrees, and being off course by a single degree may not seem like a big deal. However, over a

What should clients use as a benchmark for success?

Editor’s note: A version of this post previously ran in 2015. We believe it’s an important topic for advisors and is worth revisiting. The data contained in the chart have also been updated. A formal investment plan or an investment policy statement (IPS) offers a blueprint for financial success. But how

Do clients know you have a blockbuster practice? Show them your value

The summer blockbuster has been an integral part of the season since Jaws. But these days, it seems a blockbuster’s value rests in its ability to draw in fans for a multifilm experience. Jaws’ sequels were just tacked-on cash-ins—today’s tentpoles (i.e., profitable films that cover the studios’ losses elsewhere) are

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