ACTIONABLE ADVICE FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS: Newsletters and Commentaries Focused on Investment Strategy

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The Virtues of Bond Laddering

by Larry Swedroe

Bond ladders are frequently criticized in the financial media and even among some professional advisors (who are often able to use only bond mutual funds or ETFs). But there are many advantages of owning them.

A Seven-Step Plan to Transform Your Practice

by Bob Veres

Advisory firms face a daunting challenge as they prepare themselves for the latest version of the future. They will have to retool their service offering for a new generation of clients (aka Millennials), who have very different preferences, different advice needs and far more digital sophistication than your Baby Boomer clients ever had.

How Introduction Abuse Ruins Presentations

by Dan Solin

It's time for me to confess to an uncomfortable reality: I am the victim of "introduction abuse." Too often, my presentations are undermined before I say the first word.

Helping Clients Rethink Retirement

by Dan Richards

Ask successful advisors where they add the most value and most answers will revolve around financial outcomes – developing the right financial plan, improving returns through diversification, lowering taxes and managing risk. But a recent conversation with a successful advisor showed that advisors need a broader definition of their purpose.

Evermore Global Advisors: Alpha through Corporate Catalysts

by Robert Huebscher

The Evermore Global Value Fund (EVGIX) has a five-year annualized return of 8.14%, versus 4.62% for its benchmark, the MSCI All Country World ex-US index (ACWI ex-US). I spoke with David Marcus, the founder of the firm, on August 12.

Last Week’s Highlights on APViewpoint

by Marianne Brunet

The top conversations on APViewpoint last week were started by Michael Edesess, Beverly Flaxington and Dan Solin, and included comments from Forbes and CNBC contributor Carolyn McClanahan. They generated thoughtful discussions on: the academic failure to understand rebalancing; the hidden cues that unlock better client communications; and how female advisors should dress to win clients.

Recruiter Spotlight

by Various

Visit our recruiter spotlight to hear from our monthly sponsors about opportunities available for advisors in the industry.

Finding and Expanding Your Niche Market

by Beverly Flaxington

We work with retirees, single women, business owners, multi-generational families and others. None of these groups could be characterized as a niche. Why do we need a niche?

The Academic Failure to Understand Rebalancing

by Michael Edesess

Perhaps the most universally accepted investing principle is to periodically rebalance one’s portfolio. Advisors have been drilled that rebalancing results in some combination of improved performance and reduced risk. Unfortunately, this precept is the byproduct of imperfect mathematics; the benefits of rebalancing are far smaller than what advisors have come to believe.

Focus on Your Prospect’s Gut to Improve Conversion Rates

by Dan Solin

When presenting to prospects, advisors routinely describe the history of their firm, provide impressive background information and go into detail about their investment philosophy. Unfortunately, this emphasis on factual information is misguided.

Recent Commentaries

Focus On Where Outperformance Is Occurring

by Eric Bush of GaveKal Capital

An old mentor of ours used to quip that a portfolio full of outperforming stocks will outperform the market. Obvious? Of course. Easy to do in practice? Not so much.

Emerging-Market Small Caps: A Distinct Growth Opportunity

by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments

In such a low-growth world, investing in smaller EM companies may provide exposure to many of the fastest-growing companies in the fastest-growing countries globally.

Credit Markets Still Supported By Global Trends

by Mark Kiesel of PIMCO

Even after this year’s rally, credit remains one of the more appealing sources of income in financial markets.

Is Foreign Demand Fading?

by Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial

Overseas investors remain a key support of domestic bond prices and have helped to drive the 10-year Treasury yield to a recent level of 1.55%.

The Easy Money Contagion

by Carmen Reinhart of Project Syndicate

Monetary expansion is all the rage in the major economies, with central bank after central bank employing tools like quantitative easing and ultra-low – or even negative – interest rates to boost their economies’ competitiveness. Where does it end?

So, You Think European Industrials Have Bottomed…

by Jennifer Thomson of GaveKal Capital

Seasoned readers are familiar with our use of point-and-figure charts as a tool in our investment process to both 1. find ideas in our Knowledge Leaders universe that bear further analysis and 2. give us a clear signal when a position begins to underperform, warranting a sale.

DOL’s Fiduciary Rule Poses New Litigation Threat to IRA Advice

by Shelby George of Manning & Napier

401(k) lawsuits have been a large topic of conversation in the retirement planning space, however the conversation is starting to take a different shape with the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule.

A New Policy Orthodoxy Is Emerging

by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

There is a new debate emerging among policymakers in advanced economies. Two Federal Reserve Bank chief executives have taken the position that the natural rate of interest in the United States is much lower than previously assumed.

August 2016 Market Commentary

by Adam Jordan of Paul R. Ried Financial Group

Following the United Kingdom’s vote on June 23rd to leave the European Union, the S&P 500 fell approximately 5% over the next two trading days as investors worried about what the vote meant for the markets and economy.

Recent dshort Posts

Q2 GDP Second Estimate: 1.1 Percent, As Expected

The Second Estimate for Q2 GDP, to one decimal, came in at 1.1 percent, a slight decrease from the 1.2 percent Advance Estimate. Today's number was in line with most mainstream estimates, with posting a consensus of 1.1 percent.

S&P 500 Snapshot: Another Down Day Before Jackson Hole Friday

Equity markets around the globe posted losses today, rather minor ones in the US. Our benchmark S&P 500 spent the day in a narrow range between its 0.16% late morning high to its -0.26% intraday low at the beginning of the final hour of trading. It trimmed about half the loss to close at -0.14% for the day. Today's trading range was at the 9th percentile of the 164 market day so far in 2016. Volume was on the light side in advance of the final day of the Jackson Hole event, with Fed Chair Yellen in the spotlight tomorrow morning.

The "Real" Goods on the July Durable Goods Data

Earlier today the Census Bureau posted the Advance Report on Durable Goods New Orders. This series dates from 1992 and is not adjusted for either population growth or inflation. Let's now review Durable Goods data with two adjustments. In the charts the gray line shows the goods orders divided by the Census Bureau's monthly population data, giving us durable goods orders per capita. The blue line goes a step further and adjusts for inflation based on the Producer Price Index for All Commodities, chained in today's dollar value.

RecessionAlert Weekly Leading Index Update

RecessionAlert has launched an alternative to ECRI's Weekly Leading Index Growth indicator (WLIg). The Weekly Leading Economic Index (WLEI) uses fifty different time series from these categories: Corporate Bond Composite, Treasury Bond Composite, Stock Market Composite, Labor Market Composite, Credit Market Composite. The latest index reading comes in at 16.4, up from the previous week's revised 14.5.

Kansas City Fed Survey: August Activity Still Declining

The latest index came in at -4.0, which indicates declining activity after a negative reading of -6.0 in July. The future outlook decreased to 11.0 from 14.0 last month. Here is a snapshot of the complete Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey.

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Down 1K from Last Week, Better Than Forecast

Today's seasonally adjusted 261K new claims, down 1K from last week's 262K, was below the forecast of 265K. This is the 77th consecutive week under 300K, the longest streak since 1970.

July Durable Goods Orders Bounce Back

The Advance Report on Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and Orders released today gives us a first look at the July durable goods numbers. The latest new orders number at 4.4% month-over-month (MoM) was above the consensus of 3.3%. However, the series is down 3.3% year-over-year (YoY). If we exclude transportation, "core" durable goods came in at 1.5% MoM, which was above the consensus of 0.5%. The core measure is down 0.6% YoY.