Just because fines from enforcement activity decreased 7.2% last year and continue to decline this year does not mean the Securities and Exchange Commission is not policing the market, says Stephanie Avakian, co-director of enforcement. "Any assessment that suggests our effectiveness should be measured solely based on the number of cases we bring over any particular period of time is misguided," she says.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said the IRS should revise guidance clarifying taxpayers' obligations involving virtual currencies. "Since the emergence of virtual currencies, the IRS has struggled with how to treat virtual currencies for tax purposes and the amount of guidance necessary to assist taxpayers in understanding their tax obligations," Brady said in a letter to acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell must decide whether to raise interest rates or to heed warnings from the bond market. Investors are anticipating a quarter-point increase next week and another by year-end.
Only 12% of US investors allocate at least 1% of their portfolio to sustainable investments, according to a UBS report, the lowest participation rate among 10 countries studied and well below the global average of 39%. However, of US investors who have adopted sustainable investing, the average allocation is 49%, above the global average of 36%.
The financial-services industry is more susceptible to bad publicity from data breaches than other sectors, according to a report from eMoney Advisor. The report says that the average breach at a financial company costs almost $7 million and that attacks are increasing, with 25% of firms hit in 2017, up from 20% in 2016.
A study from IonTuition finds 66% of people want the ability to put retirement matching contributions toward student-loan repayment, up from 49% a year ago. Many people feel as though they have to choose between making loan payments and saving for retirement, experts say.
Retirement policies do not take into consideration the reasons couples retire together, according to a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. This "can throw off the intended results of such policies so that they have a far greater, or lesser, impact," Marlene Satter writes.
Consultant Angie Herbers discusses how advisory firm Facet Wealth used a proprietary technology platform to "cost-effectively provide fiduciary financial planning advice to small accounts." Facet's work is an example of what independent advisory firms are capable of, Herbers writes.
Knowing what not to say to a client after they've lost a loved one is important, as clients expect their financial advisers to be professional in these times, writes the Journal of Financial Planning's Ana Trujillo Limon. Advisers should let their clients talk and avoid phrases such as, "I can't even imagine," "I know how you feel" and "Everything happens for a reason," she advises.
Legislation that would make it easier and faster for manufacturers of generic drugs to sue companies that withhold brand-name product samples needed for generic drug development would reduce government spending by $3.3 billion from 2019 to 2028, mainly through lower Medicare and Medicaid spending, according to the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation. The bipartisan CREATES Act, which is awaiting a vote in the Senate, would accelerate the market entry of generics, according to the report.
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