Investments & Wealth Monitor: Same-Sex Marriage and Advising; Global Investing; Perfecting the Sales Pitch

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The September/October issue of IMCA's Investments & Wealth Monitor is out with articles that explore how the demise of DOMA affects financial investment professionals, global investing, and creating the perfect sales pitch.

“Attorneys and other advisors would be well served to become familiar with the issues, benefits, responsibilities, and planning opportunities facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.” -- David Gordon, CFP, CIMA

With 19 states and the District of Columbia recognizing same-sex marriages, advising for same-sex couples has become a topic of interest for investment advisors, reports author David Gordon in the new issue of Investments & Wealth Monitor, the magazine of Investment Management Consultants Association® (IMCA®).

Gordon writes that public attitudes toward same-sex marriage have changed possibly faster than attitudes toward any other recent issue. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), affecting some 114,000 legally married same-sex couples previously denied federal benefits. The ruling also impacts more than 1,000 federal statutes, including hundreds governing veterans’ benefits, taxes, and family medical leave.

In addition, the federal government ruled that same-sex couples who marry or already are legally married retain eligibility for many benefits, even if they live in or move to states that don’t recognize their unions.

The September/October issue of Investments & Wealth Monitor is available online at http://www.IMCA.org/investment-current.

“Attorneys and other advisors would be well served to become familiar with the issues, benefits, responsibilities, and planning opportunities facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community,” Gordon writes. “Change in this arena is coming fast, and advisors who are aware of these developments and ready to respond will be able to better serve their LGBT clients.”

With these changes, same-sex couples can take advantage of tax-exempt gifts between spouses, joint estate-tax exemptions of more than $10 million, and the potential to use the “innocent spouse” defense in cases where one partner may have engaged in questionable tax strategies.

“In short, the overturn of DOMA enables same-sex married couples to use their overall assets as a team, further leveraging their tax advantages,” Gordon writes.

Gordon, CFP®, CIMA®, is an executive director–financial advisor and senior portfolio management director with the Gordon Financial Group at Morgan Stanley in Deerfield, Ill., where he specializes in fee-based portfolio management and comprehensive financial planning.

Also in the new edition of Investments & Wealth Monitor:

  • “Six Tricks for Creating the Perfect Sales Proposal,” by Marc Wayshak, offering easy steps to improve the number of sales that advisors close.
  • “There’s No Place Like Home … Is There?” by Viraj Patel, Ricardo Feced, PhD, and Antonia Lim, CFA®, finding that investors need to strike a balance between striving for the perfect international portfolio and the costs that result from imperfect behavior.
  • “Asia’s Deepening Capital Markets: More Resilient, Less Volatile,” by Robert Horrocks, Ph.D., who reports that by embracing globalization and free-market systems, Asia has demonstrated itself to be the world’s most dynamic growth region during the past 20 years.
  • “Rethinking Emerging Markets,” by Tim McCarthy, Daniel Kern, CFA®, and Gerard Cronin, CFA®, who report that emerging markets boast younger societies with a lower old-age dependency ratio; however, investing requires selectivity and awareness that market sentiment can change rapidly.
  • “A Forward-Looking Approach to Strategic Currency Hedging: A Canadian-Based Investor Perspective,” by John Osborn, CFA®, and Kendra Kaake, ACIA, ASA, FRM, who find that combining an unhedged static hedge ratio with a dynamic purchasing-power-parity adjustment provides an opportunity to reduce risk and enhance return.
  • “Unconstrained Fixed Income, Really?” by Adam I. Cohen, CFA®, and Jingwei Lei, CFA®, who report that investors need to be cautious when allocating to unconstrained fixed-income funds.
  • “Increasing the Odds of Successful Wealth Transition,” by Tom McCullough, CIM, CIWM, CFBA, and Mark Haynes Daniell, JD, who report successful wealth transfer across generations is a balance of family and financial principles.
  • “Leveraging Certification Standards to Promote the Globalization of Financial Professionals,” by Vijay Krishna, MBA, Ed.D., who writes certifications based on validated global schemes help to foster closer economic cooperation and provide more opportunities for businesses to hire competent persons.
  • “Risk Management for Public Pension Funds: Still Trying to Not Waste the Crisis,” by Dan diBartolomeo and John Minahan, Ph.D., CFA®, who write successful risk management for public pension funds requires that plan trustees have a clear understanding of the economics of pension plans.
  • “Understanding Alternatives and Their Research Challenges,” by Jason Steuerwalt, CFA®, who reports advisors need to consider how alternatives can be expected to behave in various environments and how they can add value to a portfolio.
  • And “Market Wizards, Seed Investors, Risk, and Volatility,” an Investments & Wealth Monitor interview with Jack Schwager, founding partner of FundSeeder, an online platform for connecting seed investors with undiscovered trading talent, and author of the best-selling Market Wizards series of interviews with great hedge fund managers.

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Chase Squires
Investment Management Consultants Association
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