Many broker/dealers still provide their advisors with an annual conference, complete with award dinners, appreciation events, and spousal activities. But Raymond James’ Tash Elwyn writes on LinkedIn that the more family-oriented firm events may be on to something. These conferences are regularly cited as boosting advisor morale and strengthening firm culture, but they may also be helping the industry develop the next generation of advisors, Elwyn writes. “Introducing our children to Raymond James and the work we do through events like Summer Development Conference is one way to establish interest in what we do at a young age,” he says, noting his 14-year-old daughter recently expressed interest in becoming a financial advisor.
A lot is made about a pending retirement crisis, but just how little are people saving? According to a new Bankrate.com report, 10 percent of Americans have not contributed anything to their retirement accounts this year or last year, the highest level since the survey started in 2011. Another 14 percent are saving less this year than they were previously. The good news is that 19 percent of those surveyed said they are saving more than one year ago, and though Bankrate’s Financial Security Index slipped to its lowest reading since 2014, it still indicates that there is an overall state of improved financial security.
The U.S. is on track to smash the record for most venture capital invested in one year, which was set in 2014 with $56.4 billion. According to a quarterly report from KPMG International and CB Insights, the U.S. venture capitalists invested $36.9 billion in the first half of the year and levels are expected to reach $70 billion by the end of 2015. The second quarter was notable for the amount of “unicorns,” the industry nickname for companies with valuation greater than $1 billion, with 24 companies reaching that status. The report found that Internet companies trumped all industries, receiving 45 percent of funding, and most deals were made in California, New York or Massachusetts.
Sweden, a country best known for pop music, affordable furniture that’s impossible to put together and, it’s greatest export, Henrik Lundqvist, is also the world leader in pet insurance. With a history dating all the way back to 1890, when the first horse was insured (the first policy for a domestic pet was written in 1924 for a dog), the Scandinavian animal insurance market is thriving. In Sweden, roughly 50 percent of pets are insured, compared to 20 percent in the UK, another early adopter, and far outpacing the allegedly animal-loving U.S., which sits at a paltry 1 percent. Insuring animals is still considered something of an oddity stateside, but a quick look across the pond may offer a glimpse of an as-yet untapped market for insurers.