Investment Planning

Tax-advantaged investing for an uncertain economy

Investors and their advisers have weathered several years of turmoil, with market conditions often upending conventional investing approaches and related tax strategies. As recently as summer 2010, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before Congress that the outlook for the U.S. economy remained “unusually uncertain.” Slightly more than a

Young Americans fail to frequently check bank balances, survey shows

Although technology has made it easier to track finances, many Americans aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity, according to a new survey. Seventeen percent of 18- to 34-year-olds check their bank accounts daily, according to a national telephone survey conducted for the AICPA by Harris Interactive in recognition of National

A wealth of opportunity

Much has been written in recent years about wealth management services that call for practitioners, including CPAs, to have personal financial planning certification and to come under investment-adviser or other regulations. Much less attention has been paid to PFP services that don’t require specialization or additional licensing. One of these

SEC changes performance fee thresholds, net worth calculation

Investors no longer will include the value of their home in the net worth calculation that can determine whether registered investment advisers can charge them performance fees, the SEC announced Wednesday. SEC rules allow registered investment advisers to charge performance fees if the client’s assets managed by the adviser or

SEC Amendments Change Net Worth Calculation for “Accredited Investors”

The value of a person’s home will not count as an asset when calculating net worth to determine whether that person may invest in certain unregistered securities offerings, according to SEC rules amendments released Wednesday. Final Rule Release No. 33-9287 explains changes made to conform the SEC’s definition of an

Confidence in U.S. Capital Markets Down Significantly Since 2007

Investors’ confidence in U.S. capital markets continued a five-year trend of declines in 2011, according to the AICPA-affiliated Center for Audit Quality’s (CAQ) fifth annual Main Street Investor Survey, and confidence in investing in U.S. public companies declined for the first time since the survey started asking the question in

IRS Proposes New Rules for Deducting Fiduciary Fees

The IRS issued new proposed regulations Monday (REG-128224-06) intended to reflect the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2008 holding in Michael J. Knight v. Commissioner (552 U.S. 181) on income tax deductibility by estates and nongrantor trusts of investment advisory and other fees. The IRS simultaneously withdrew July 2007 proposed regulations with

Fund Advisers Face New Registration, Reporting Regs

The passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in July 2010 marked the onset of major changes for financial advisers. The SEC in June followed through with rulemaking responsibilities under the new law by releasing final rules that include new registration and reporting requirements for advisers

SEC Issues Investor Bulletin on Retail Forex Transactions

The SEC issued an investor bulletin Wednesday highlighting some of the most significant risks that foreign currency exchange (forex) transactions may pose for individual investors. The forex market is a large and generally liquid financial market, according to the bulletin. Banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions, as well as

PFP Services Guidelines

CPAs providing personal financial planning services to individual clients in estate, retirement, tax, investment and/or insurance planning need to ensure they are meeting their professional responsibilities. The AICPA Statement on Responsibilities in Personal Financial Planning Practice (SOR) provides guidance that can help protect against unforeseen risks of litigation. Here are

SEC Proposes Audits of Broker-Dealers' Custody Practices

The SEC proposed rules that it said would strengthen the annual audits of broker-dealers by requiring an increased focus on their custody activities. Current rules require broker-dealers to protect and account for customer assets. The proposed rule amendments would mandate an audit of those controls. Comments on the proposal are

New Investment Adviser Requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act: What CPAs Should Know

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, PL 111-203 (Reform Act, tinyurl.com/26zalzn), which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in July 2010, will require sweeping changes to virtually all areas of the financial services industry in the United States and will affect a wide variety of

PCAOB Proposes Interim Program for Inspection of Broker-Dealer Audits

The PCAOB on Tuesday proposed for public comment a temporary rule to establish an interim inspection program for registered public accounting firms’ audits of brokers and dealers, while the board considers the scope and other elements of a permanent inspection program, consistent with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer

AICPA Comments on SEC Proposed Rule for Family Offices

The definition of a family office’s “family clients” must be inclusive enough to encompass all of the clients and arrangements that are typically present in a single-family office, the AICPA said. The suggestion was among comments submitted by the Institute on Tuesday on a proposed SEC rule defining family offices,

Advice to Clients in Uncertain Markets

In the “flash crash” on May 6, 2010, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped nearly 1,000 points only to recover more than 600 points by the market close. On the heels of the financial crisis of 2008, this incident only exacerbated investors’ concerns. Some strategies to manage volatility risk that

Where Do Investors Prefer to Find Nonfinancial Information?

It’s no secret to investors that annual reports filed by U.S. companies are becoming increasingly complex. Many reports in the business press over the past decade cite concern that the proliferation of required disclosures accompanying financial reports makes it difficult to decipher a company’s performance and identify factors that drive

2010: The Year of the Roth Conversion?

This year will be the Year of the Tiger, according to Chinese custom, but it also could be remembered by investors as the Year of the Roth Conversion, a decision that can have a large impact on investors’ ability to build wealth during their lifetime and preserve wealth for beneficiaries.

Study of Financial Picture Reveals Struggles, Risky Habits

A study examining personal financial habits shows many Americans are struggling to cover their mortgage and other monthly bills, don’t have rainy day funds, and have yet to do the math on how much money they’ll need to retire. Roughly 49% of those surveyed reported having trouble paying their monthly

Lessons Learned From the Financial Crisis

Since the onset of the economic crisis last fall, many CPAs who are personal financial planning specialists have been working overtime to reassure clients overwhelmed with fear about the future and safety of their investments and to reassess and reorient investment portfolios when necessary. Members of the AICPA’s Personal Financial

CAQ Survey: Individual Investor Confidence Rises to 73%

Individual investors’ confidence in U.S. capital markets increased slightly from 2008, with 73% of investors indicating they have at least some confidence compared with 70% last year, according to a telephone survey of 1,000 investors conducted by the Center for Audit Quality and The Glover Park Group released Wednesday. This

Where to find August’s flipbook issue

The Journal of Accountancy is now completely digital. 

 

 

 

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