Welcome to the
TDA4advisors Blog

We are excited to share a collection of relevant, timely, and insightful articles that can help you grow and strengthen your business. TD Ameritrade and leading industry experts will be contributing their unique perspectives on the challenges and opportunities that RIAs are facing today. Thank you for joining our community and we look forward to connecting with you!

  
  • by Skip Schweiss
  • President, TD Ameritrade Trust Company
    Managing Director of Advisor Advocacy & Industry Affairs

To Be or Not to Be: Supporting Retirement Security for America’s Workers

Skip Schweiss

Skip Schweiss, Managing Director, Advisor Advocacy & Industry Affairs,
TD Ameritrade Institutional

“As Managing Director of Advisor Advocacy & Industry Affairs for TD Ameritrade Institutional, I help to expand the voice of registered investment advisors (“RIAs”) on important policy issues. As I publish my insights here on the regulatory and legislative issues that affect fiduciary advisors and their retail investor clients, you can be certain that I’m working alongside you every day to make sure that common sense, efficient regulation, and investor interests prevail.”

-Skip Schweiss (Follow Skip Schweiss on Twitter @TDASchweiss)

 

For many policy issues these days, the ever-shifting and conflicting political winds can create quite a whiplash. So it is for retirement policy in the United States. At stake is nothing less than the retirement security of millions of American workers and their families. We would like to see many more American workers have access to the retirement system, so they can save money more easily to fund a dignified retirement.

This noble goal, however, may be overrun in Washington by another objective: getting a handle on America’s $17 trillion federal debt and our annual budget deficits.

There are some lawmakers who want to tax retirement contributions to help reduce the overall debt by reducing incentives for employers to sponsor plans and for workers to contribute to them. That is bad policy, in our view. There are other, better options.

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  • by Skip Schweiss
  • President, TD Ameritrade Trust Company
    Managing Director of Advisor Advocacy & Industry Affairs

My Name is HAL, and I’m Here to Help

Skip Schweiss

Skip Schweiss, Managing Director, Advisor Advocacy & Industry Affairs,
TD Ameritrade Institutional

“As Managing Director of Advisor Advocacy & Industry Affairs for TD Ameritrade Institutional, I help to expand the voice of registered investment advisors (“RIAs”) on important policy issues. As I publish my insights here on the regulatory and legislative issues that affect fiduciary advisors and their retail investor clients, you can be certain that I’m working alongside you every day to make sure that common sense, efficient regulation, and investor interests prevail.”

-Skip Schweiss (Follow Skip Schweiss on Twitter @TDASchweiss)

 

In Arthur Clarke’s screenplay 2001:  A Space Odyssey, a fictional (?) computer designed to support a space mission oversteps its bounds and seizes control from the humans.  The computer even has a human-sounding name:  “HAL”, which stands for Heuristically-programmed ALgorithmic computer.

Clarke conceived HAL in 1968, when all the computing power of NASA’s mission control couldn’t compete with our desktops today. Now, almost a half-century later, the concept of a computer taking over for humans is no longer science fiction, but a part of everyday life. Computers have taken the place of humans in many industries, and now the threat of being made obsolete has some investment advisors worried.  “Robo-advisors” are the talk of an industry that has plenty of issues to talk about, and the talk seems to boil down to a binary question:  Threat or No Threat?

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  • by Skip Schweiss
  • President, TD Ameritrade Trust Company
    Managing Director of Advisor Advocacy & Industry Affairs

Whither a Uniform Fiduciary Standard? (Or Which Way Bloweth Today’s Wind?)

Skip Schweiss

Skip Schweiss, Managing Director, Advisor Advocacy & Industry Affairs,
TD Ameritrade Institutional

“As Managing Director of Advisor Advocacy & Industry Affairs for TD Ameritrade Institutional, I help to expand the voice of registered investment advisors (“RIAs”) on important policy issues. As I publish my insights here on the regulatory and legislative issues that affect fiduciary advisors and their retail investor clients, you can be certain that I’m working alongside you every day to make sure that common sense, efficient regulation, and investor interests prevail.”

-Skip Schweiss (Follow Skip Schweiss on Twitter @TDASchweiss)

 

There’s an old sailor’s mantra that says, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.” On the landscape of fiduciary standard, is it morning or night?

Late last year, it appeared the investment advisor industry was headed for some smooth sailing. On October 28, 2013, SEC Chairman Mary Jo White stated that developing a fiduciary duty for brokers remains a “major focus of our efforts.”  She continued that while she couldn’t predict “when we reach [a rule proposal], it’s very important to work on and resolve where we are going on it.”  (link:  http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2013/10/28/sec-fiduciary-rule-major-focus)

On November 22, 2013, the Investor Advisory Committee led by Barbara Roper (link:  http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/investor-advisory-committee-2012.shtml) released two recommendations:  1) The SEC should adopt a uniform fiduciary standard of care applied to brokers and advisers and is based upon the ’40 Act (link:  http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/investor-advisory-committee-2012/fiduciary-duty-recommendation.pdf); and 2) the SEC should adopt “user fees” imposed upon investment advisory firms to fund more frequent examinations of those firms. (link:  http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/legislation-to-fund-investment-adviser-examinations.pdf)

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