Andrew Osterland, Special to CNBC.com’s Posts

The “dogs of the Dow” strategy has paid big dividends this year — literally. But some strategists aren’t enthused about its prospects.

The massive move of assets from actively managed portfolios to passive funds that track an index hasn’t happened in every corner of the investment landscape.

The fiduciary debate is dominating the political agenda in the financial advisory world, but it isn’t the only unsettled business in the industry. An equally important issue is making sure that fiduciary investment advisors—who are required to always act in the best interests of their clients—are actually doing that. It’s almost universally acknowledged that the …

Strong equity markets have provided a nice tailwind for all financial advisors, but none more so than the fee-only registered investment advisors. One of the more enduring outcomes of the financial crisis has been the migration of advisors and assets from the investment sales model of the Wall Street wirehouses to the fiduciary model of …

Where do you want to spend your retirement? Americans almost universally say they want to be in their own homes, close to their families and near good friends. If they develop significant health issues—as they almost certainly will later in retirement—they want to deal with them where they live for as long as they can. …

As the major stock market indexes push new highs, financial advisors are fielding more phone calls from clients anxious about volatility and how their investment portfolios could be affected by rising interest rates. “The dynamic of perpetually low interest rates and rising stock prices hasn’t changed for a long time,” said Ed Gjertsen, a certified …

The alternative minimum tax may be the most reviled tax in the country, but it is almost certainly here to stay, say tax advisors. If you’ve been subject to it in the past, there’s a good chance you will be again this year. “There’s nothing magical you can do to avoid the AMT,” said Mike …

Did you mail out those checks to charities before year-end? Did the beneficiaries of your annual tax-free gifts cash their checks? Did you sell those energy stocks and use the losses to offset gains elsewhere in your portfolio? There are plenty of tax-smart strategies that required action before the end of the year, but it’s …

The statistics on the unhappy fates of family businesses are well known in the wealth-management world. Only 30 percent of family businesses make a successful transition from the founders to the second generation, 13 percent make it to the third generation, and just 3 percent make it to the fourth. Those statistics don’t reflect the …

The academic community is doing its part to fill the growing need for more financial advisors. With numerous studies suggesting there could be an acute shortage of financial advisors as the baby boomer generation of advisors retires from the industry, universities and colleges are launching new financial-planning programs and educating more students specifically for a …

The dismal demographics of the financial advisory industry have been well documented, but aging advisors continue to drag their feet when it comes to succession planning and preparing for their own retirement. Data produced by research firm Cerulli Associates suggest a bleak outlook for the industry. Aging advisors are expected to retire in droves over …

Small-business owners who didn’t bother taking full advantage of tax deductions and credits in the past—because they knew they would have to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax—should take a closer look at what’s available to them now. While the rules for calculating the AMT didn’t change much last year, the increase in the top marginal …

It could have been worse, but 2013 ushered in the most significant changes in the tax code for more than a decade. For most American taxpayers, the resolution of the fiscal-cliff drama early last year was good news. The Bush-era tax cuts were made permanent for people in all but the top income-tax bracket; ditto …

Never let tax tails wag investment dogs. Financial advisors generally counsel their clients not to invest for the sole purpose of reducing their tax liabilities. It can end badly. “When people make investments primarily for tax reasons, they usually end up making a lot less than they otherwise would,” said Ric Edelman, a registered investment advisor …

Buy low, sell high. The most intuitive investing strategy may be the most successful in the long run, but it’s never easy to follow—particularly as stock indexes continue climbing to record highs. “No one ever wants to rebalance their portfolio [when markets are rising],” said certified financial planner Mark Cortazzo, senior partner at advisory firm …