Personal Financial Planning


The National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) proposed a rule ( www.nasdr.com/news/pr2004/ ) designed to address inappropriate practices discussed in Joint SEC/NASD Staff Report on Examination Findings Regarding Broker-Dealer Sales of Variable Insurance Products ( www.sec.gov/news/studies/secnasdvip.pdf ), which it released in conjunction with the SEC in June 2004. The report identified situations in which brokers inappropriately recommended variable insurance products to senior citizens and others who couldn’t afford them without obtaining home mortgages. Other questionable practices included brokers’ failure to fully disclose these products’ fees, risks and tax consequences as well as problems related to supervision and training of sales staff and account recordkeeping. The proposed rule would codify and make mandatory related best-practice guidelines NASD had issued previously. Comments are due August 9, 2004.

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Technology assessments may open the door to new engagement opportunities for your firm. What is a technology assessment? How do you perform one? JofA Tech Q&A author J. Carlton Collins shows you in a detailed explanation.

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Maximizing the higher education tax credits

A counterintuitive strategy can save taxes by including otherwise excludable scholarships in gross income.