Most Recent Articles
How to Choose the Best Retirement Income Strategy by Joe Tomlinson
In the competition among retirement-planning methodologies, systematic withdrawals have been winning the battle against the essential-discretionary approach. But given today's low interest rates, the essential-discretionary approach may work better for many clients, especially if SPIAs are used.
Most Recent Commentaries
Weekly Market Update by Team of Castleton Partners
The intensifying geopolitical backdrop of Ukraine/ Russia, Israel/ Gaza, and Iraq/ ISIS continued to influence market activity and investment flows last week. As a result, intermediate and longer-dated Treasury rates were able to revisit their low yields of the year, last touched in May. However, the one thematic constant that continued unabated last week was the persistent flattening of the yield curve—the one trend that we are unwilling to fade.
Five Reasons to Buy and Hold Shares of Great Companies by Kendall Anderson of Anderson Griggs
The world is full of stock traders. They firmly believe that they can trade stocks and create unlimited wealth for themselves and their families. These traders could be your neighbor, your co-worker, your physician, your lawyer, and even your CPA. But traders can also include professionals entrusted to take care of other people’s money. They are mutual fund managers, managers of pension plan assets, managers of separate accounts, and hedge fund managers, many of whom you would think know better.
The Opportunity in Unconventional Oil by Doug Holt, Tim Gramatovich of AdvisorShares
Be it energy geopolitics or pipeline politicking, oil markets are clouded by noise that push prices up and down. In order to make long-term investments in the space the trick is to boil it down to the bare bones of the issue. Recently an article was published espousing that oil was headed to $75. It was an interesting notion but not one we would put much stock in for a variety of reasons, the most basic of which being supply.
Cause and Effect: Bank of Japan Becomes Government’s Largest by Bradley Krom of WisdomTree
Although central banks often use their holdings of government debt to affect monetary policy, the meteoric rise in the expansion of the BOJ’s balance sheet is unprecedented. With the BOJ continuing to signal its willingness to aggressively stimulate the economy, we highlight here what we believe are the most significant implications of these policies.
Is Timing Everything? Practical Implementation of Tail Risk Hedging?? by Michael Connor, Markus Aakko of PIMCO
“Just in time” hedging is nearly impossible: By the time an investor decides to hedge, the market may already price in the significant risk of a tail event. Instead, hedges could be included as a permanent part of an asset allocation: what we might call “just in case” hedging. An optimal strategy may involve averaging into a hedging allocation. In addition, using a broader set of hedge instruments may help lower the costs. We believe that tail risk hedges have a place in any portfolio that has a substantial allocation to risk assets. ?
Anatomy of an Economic Moat by Kenneth Lowe of Matthews Asia
At Matthews, we often talk about investing in “quality” companies with “economic moats.” We believe that these are the entities best placed to succeed over the long term in Asia. As Warren Buffett has noted, investors should seek businesses with “economic castles protected by unbreachable moats.” It is these moats that enable a company to survive and thrive as decades pass, creating economic value along the way by generating returns on capital ahead of their cost of capital. But what exactly is an economic moat?
Mid-Year Review: Interest-Rate Sensitive Stocks May Correct With First Fed Rate Hike by Rick Golod of Invesco Blog
With the recent strength in the economy and decline in the unemployment rate, the probability that the Federal Reserve (Fed) increases rates in the first half of 2015 is rising, in my opinion. Given the volume of media noise about this, it’s understandable that many investors are still worried about the stock market’s potential for correction.
German And French 10-2 Spread Flattest In The Last 5 Years by Team of GaveKal Capital
The front-end of the yield curve has flattened in many bond markets this year. The German and French bond markets closed last week with their 10-year bond yield minus 2-year bond yield spread at it's smallest level since January 2009. The German spread fell to 1.13% while the French spread dropped to 1.42%. The 10-2 spread for the United States has also narrowed this year to 2%. That's the lowest level in a little over a year.
Why Market-Timers Go Nuts by Stephen Huxley, Brent Burns
How do you drive a market-timer nuts? Remind them of the evidence against them. That is, the evidence of shifting and even reversing correlations between stock and bond returns that make it improbable - if not impossible - to use market timing to make profitable investment decisions.
Time to Rethink How You Deal with Top Clients by Dan Richards
Airlines like American, Delta and United are unlikely role models for customer service. Yet there is one area in which these airlines excel and from which advisors can learn: how they treat their very best customers.
The Secret Weapon for Gathering AUM by Daniel Solin
Getting a prospect to agree to a meeting takes an enormous amount of time, effort and money. I estimate that at least half of those efforts fail. Research shows that a small change to the way you handle prospect and client meetings could greatly improve those results.
APViewpoint Reaches Critical Milestones by Justin Kermond
Two months after its launch, our APViewpoint service has quickly expanded. The secure discussion forum now has 1,200 members and 80 online conversations on a wide range of topics of interest to the advisory profession.
Career Center by Various
Find career opportunities for firms that seek to add financial advisors and planners to their staff. Read more to find out how to post opportunities at your firm.
Jumping into the Fray with Divorcing Clients by Beverly Flaxington
When is it appropriate to recuse ourselves from a nasty divorce situation between existing clients? We are in a losing place if we take sides, and I do not prefer one member of the couple over the other. I enjoy both and what they are doing to each other - and to their investment portfolio - is atrocious.
Two Top Experts Debate the Outlook for Growth by Laurence Siegel
Growth may slow, as Robert Gordon contends, at least when measured by GDP - if only because population growth is slowing. But that is not a foregone conclusion. And even if it were to happen, it doesn't mean that global standards of living would face a similar deceleration. Moreover, GDP doesn't fully capture the improvements in the standard of living that come with advanced technology.