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

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Recent Articles

The Best Asset Allocation for Retirees

by David Blanchett

In this article, I determine the optimal glide path for retirees using varying initial bond yields and stock market valuations.

Should Leveraged ETFs Be Held for Long Horizons?

by C. Thomas Howard, Lambert Bunker and David Stock

There are numerous misconceptions and emotions surrounding the use of leveraged ETFs. This article provides a simple and clear explanation of how these instruments can be used to enhance portfolio returns over longer term investment horizons. We show that commonly used 2x ETFs have delivered the expected return over multi-year time horizons.

How to Attract Top Talent

by Dan Richards

How should you recruit and motivate top-performing support staff?

Success Is Within Your Control

by Daniel Solin

You may be skeptical of the expression, "The harder I work, the luckier I get." But empirical evidence says it's true. While we often look with envy at people who get a "lucky break", the reality is that the vast majority of those people worked long and hard before they achieved success.

Closing the Retirement Gender Gap

by Jeff Briskin

New research shows how a lack of "retirement readiness" puts many women at risk of financial hardship during their retirement years, especially since most will outlive their spouses.

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.

When Lead Advisors Are Not Mentors

by Beverly Flaxington

I am working to establish a training program that would match a newer advisor with one of our more seasoned ones. So far, this has been a disaster. The lead advisors treat the newer people like administrative staff. How do I teach my lead advisors to be better mentors?

Gundlach - The Bond Market is at a Pivotal Point

by Robert Huebscher

Jeffrey Gundlach turned defensive on the U.S. bond market at the end of January, almost precisely when yields were at their lowest point. Whether his outlook changes hinges on the direction of the 30-year bond and if it retests its low yield of 2.45%.

Recent Commentaries

Sustaining The New Highs in Equities Might Prove Difficult

by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

New price highs are usually bullish as all investors are in a profitable position and not in need of selling. We don't like to be cautionary when price is bullish, but the reality is that prior moves to new highs have failed in the past year and several measures of breadth, sentiment and volatility suggest that is likely to be the case again now.

Why International Diversification Matters Today

by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

The tendency of U.S. investors to invest close to home is understandable, but it’s not optimal. Russ has three reasons why international diversification matters now more than ever for U.S. investors.

Schwab Market Perspective: Heads, Bulls Win; Tails, Bears Lose?

by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

The bears can’t seem to grab hold of this market, but that doesn’t mean full-speed ahead for the bulls either. Grinding generally higher with increased volatility seems to be the course for now, but the possibility of a correction still exists. Diversification, discipline and patience is required. International equity exposure should be part of most investors’ portfolios, to a level commiserate with risk tolerance. European risks related to Greece seem to have lessened, while the Chinese stock market doesn’t appear grossly overvalued, although a pullback from the recent run is possi

Attractively Valued Ameriprise Financial: a Long-Term Total Return Opportunity Raises Dividend 16%

by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Ameriprise slightly missed their earnings estimates for the first quarter of fiscal 2015, and the stock has dropped over 3%. However, their return on equity increased to a record high 23.1 % and operating earnings were up 7%. Management appears to remain confident about the future as evidenced by the raising of their quarterly dividend 16% to $0.67 per share. Consequently, I consider the recent weakness an excellent opportunity for long-term oriented investors desirous of earning an above-average total return.

Stand and Deliver: Will the US Economy Rebound as Expected in the Second Quarter?

by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

Most market watchers are blaming another bad winter for this year’s rough start, and they’re assuming a strong second-quarter rebound. One obscure economic statistic calls that view into question.

Weekly Economic Commentary: The Eurozone Is Seeing Green Shoots but Isn’t Out of the Woods

by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

The Eurozone Is Seeing Green Shoots but Isn't Out of the Woods; Gauging a Country's Potential for Growth; The Trans-Pacific Partnership Might Actually Happen

Sine of the Times

by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Powerful secular and fundamental forces at work signal that the risk to U.S. interest rates remains to the downside.

BofA Is Confusing Liquidity Fueled And Secular Bull Markets

by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

Over the past couple of years, there has been a growing chorus of individuals claiming that the financial markets have finally shaken the shackles of the secular bear market that began at the turn of the century. This, of course, suggests that the markets have now begun the next long-term secular bull market.

Recent dshort Posts

World Markets Weekend Update: The Rally Resumes

Seven of the eight indexes on our world watch list traded higher this week, with China's Shanghai Composite as the top performer, up 2.48%. India's SENSEX was the outlier to the south, with a -3.53% contraction. In fact, the average of the seven gainers was an impressive 1.52%. But the SENSEX pulls the overall average down to 0.89%.

NYSE Margin Debt Hits an All-Time High

The NYSE margin debt data is about a month old when it is published. The latest debt level is up 2.5% month-over-month and at a record high. Real (inflation-adjusted) debt rose 1.9% month-over-month and also at a record high.

S&P 500 Snapshot: A Record Close to End the Week

The pre-market economic news was the release of the March Durable Goods, which had a strong headline number, but Core Capex posted its seventh consecutive decline and is down 4.0% year-over-year. The S&P 500 vacillated in the opening minutes and then trudged higher to its 0.38% intraday record high. The index then moved sideways most of the afternoon before settling for a 0.23% closing gain -- enough for a record high close.

ECRI Recession Watch: Weekly Update

The featured article on the ECRI website is a brief overview of Lakshman Achuthan's recent presentation at the 24th Annual Hyman P. Minsky Conference. It includes a PDF link to the full presentation slides and commentary. There is also an embedded audio link to Achuthan's presentation. In addition to its many fascinating insights into the economy, the presentation also explains the rationale for ECRI's recession call in late 2011 and why the recession was ultimately avoided. Highly recommended!