Six forces that will drive personal financial management (PFM) solutions (Part 1)

My role at TMG Financial Services allows me to think about the macro trends that will shape and continue to drive innovation in the payments and financial services industry in the future.

Recently I have been looking at the different ways financial technology (fintech) companies are thinking about the delivery of personal financial management solutions into the hands of consumers.  I believe there are 6 major trends today that will shape the future of PFM solutions.  I discuss the first three trends below. Continue reading

More Consumer Information Around Retirement Products

Last April, the Department of Labor (DOL) re-proposed a regulation for comment that redefines the role of a fiduciary as it pertains to retirement investments.  A fiduciary is responsible for managing the assets of another person, or of a group of people.  A fiduciary’s responsibilities are both ethical and legal. When a party knowingly accepts a fiduciary duty on behalf of another party, they are required to act in the best interest of the party whose assets they are managing. The fiduciary is expected to manage the assets for the benefit of the other person rather than for his or her own profit, and cannot benefit personally from their management of assets. Continue reading

Welcome to the new year

Happy New Year! This is my favorite weekend of the year because it holds the promise of limitless possibilities. It is also the time of year that I take stock on where I’m at in life, express gratitude for what I’ve been given, and set goals for the upcoming year. This process is relatively new for me.

Earlier in my life I would assess where I was at, make resolutions to change some aspect of my behavior and charge into the year. The results of my earlier efforts were disappointing. Most years I felt as though I hadn’t measured up to the resolutions I made – stop smoking, get healthier, work on stained glass, read more, become a better person.

What changed? Why am I more satisfied today than in the past? Today I’m taking stock and setting goals, not just assessing and resolving. I’m fact-based when I take stock. When it comes to financial matters, this means preparing a personal financial statement – a list of assets and liabilities. Truth be told, it’s sometimes been a boring exercise and at times it’s been uncomfortable, but I’ve come to find that drafting this statement is the best first step to figure out how to improve a bad financial situation.

Next, I’ve moved from making resolutions to committing to goals. The difference is a resolution is often a vaguely defined promise involving a character trait or behavioral change while a commitment often involves a very specific plan or a course of action. Financially, my goals are to pay my future self a little more by increasing my 401(k) contribution by 2% and increase my charitable contributions by $40 a month while staying on my budget.

This year I have four overall goals I will work to achieve;

  1. Share my thoughts on financial services with you at least weekly
  2. Help launch Odyssey ( out to an unsuspecting boomer population
  3. Launch a new division within TMG Financial Services to help credit unions grow, and
  4. Visit Europe with my beautiful wife Karen

Along the way I’ll introduce you to people who are doing good work in the financial services industry and invite you to see what they’re up to. All the best this year and I wish you success in achieving your goals.