September is known as college savings month, and Ascensus College Savings, a 529 plan provider, is marking the occasion by launching Learn529.com, a website to educate families about college savings plans. The website was made in partnership with EverFi, a web-based financial education company that uses animations, video and simulations to teach financial literacy. Learn529.com is available in English and Spanish and uses EverFi’s capabilities to navigate families through opening a 529 plan, highlight a plan’s benefits and dispel common misconceptions.
MarketCounsel, a business and regulatory consultancy for RIAs, recently lured away legal affairs expert David M. Mrazik from Focus Financial Partners. Joining MarketCounsel as a managing director, Mrazik will supervise the firm’s professional service business units and work with clients in various roles, including as corporate counsel, strategic consultant and transactional and crisis management partner. CEO Brian Hamburger called Mrazik a “big impact hire” for the firm, noting MarketCounsel has brought onboard 17 new members to the team this year.
According to the Sacramento Bee, a recent study from UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research reveals that while roughly 300,000 elderly California residents are considered officially poor by the federal government’s standard metrics, that number actually skyrockets to over 1 million when you account for the “hidden poor.” While the official poverty line is set at $10,890 a year, that’s a national figure that doesn’t reflect the actual cost of living in California. UCLA’s elder index sets the correct poverty line for the state at $23,364 annually, an enormous increase. While California’s official poverty rate is near the national average, under the new metric it would have the nation’s highest, at 23.4 percent. This study shines light on some of the failures of nationwide metrics like the poverty rate, many of the criteria for which haven’t changed in over 50 years.
Millennials continue to be distrustful of Wall Street and financial advisors, according to a new study by the Spectrem Group. The study, Investing Habits of Millennials, reveals that more than a quarter of adults born between 1981 and 1997 do not use a financial advisor, including 24 percent of those with more than $1 million in net worth. Conversely, 40 percent said they are likely to use a robo-advisor in the future, rather than a human advisor. “Millennials are the next great challenge for the financial provider industry, but they are a different breed of investor than the older generations,’’ says George H. Walper Jr., President of Spectrem Group. “Understanding how they built their wealth and their specific designs for what to do with their investable assets will benefit providers and advisors looking to create a new business relationship.”