The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority opened a helpline for small firms seeking answers to general and routine questions and can get them in touch with its Regulatory Coordinators, who are the primary points of contact for technical assistance or regulatory information. The Small Firm Helpline will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. There are approximately 3,400 small firms registered with FINRA that each employ 150 or fewer registered representatives, the regulator said.
As more wealth management firms enable advisors to text clients (including Merrill Lynch), advisors should probably pause and ask what impact that distraction will have on them. A recent article in Behavioral Scientist pointed out the costs of digital distraction, which many mobile phone users might not even be aware of. A study at the University of Chicago asked participants to complete a series of tests of their working memory capacity and fluid intelligence and found those who placed their phones on their desk performed significantly worse. Another study highlighted in the article pointed out it takes about 23 minutes to fully refocus on a task after a distraction. The article also offers tips on establishing “attentional hygiene” at the office, which could certainly apply to some advisors.
UBS published a white paper for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting that detailed ways advisors and clients can support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. The UN is currently well short of raising the $5 to 7 trillion in annual investment needed to achieve the goals set, so UBS published a paper detailing ways advisors can help clients get involved, especially those clients with an investment style centered on sustainable causes. Among other suggestions, the white paper suggests advisors consider Multilateral Development Bank bonds and points out that a client’s charitable giving could also support those causes.