The Daily Brief: Merrill Compensation Cuts?

The Daily Brief: Merrill Compensation Cuts?

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Are compensation cuts coming to Merrill Lynch advisors in 2015? AdvisorHUB (rumors) seems to think so. According to a rumor circulating on the site, the cuts are hitting payouts, not deferred compensation. The site claims comp will be cut 3 percent on managed money business. AdvisorHub quotes three advisors, confirming the cuts. A Merrill Lynch spokesperson vehemently denied the report.

Phony Financial Planner Fooled DEA

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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration "failed to act" on warning signs that a financial planner with a government contract in fact had sketchy credentials and was funding a high-flying lifestyle with the retirement funds entrusted to him by government employees, according to the Justice Department. The advisor, who has since committed suicide, held over 120 retirement seminars for DEA employees and rewarded top clients with free Super Bowl tickets and airfare. The agency is heeding the Inspector General's "recommendations aimed at improving the vetting of financial instructors and establish guidelines for future financial planning seminars."

Americans are Failing Retirement Planning

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An "F," that's the latest grade Americans received on retirement planning knowledge in the RICP Retirement Income Literacy Survey from the New York Life Center for Retirement Income at The American College. The survey tested Americans on their level of retirement planning knowledge, with the average score coming in at 42 percent. Only 20 percent passed with a score above 60 percent. But what's scariest is that nearly 97 percent said they were “very knowledgeable” or “somewhat knowledgeable” about saving for a retirement.

Charitable Giving Tips

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The wealthy have money to give, and they're doing it more than ever, with charitable donations up 28 percent last year, according to the 2014 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy. To help financial planners deal with this influx of philanthropy, Susan Winer, co-founder of Chicago-based Strategic Philanthropy, has come up with a 17-step guide to follow.

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