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

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Recruiter Spotlight

by Various

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

The Most Dangerous Financial Products

by Michael Edesess

What would we think of doctors who deliberately hurt patients by prescribing dangerous and unhealthful products in order to make more money? Fortunately, the medical profession is set up in such a way that such things virtually never happen. This is not so in the financial services industry, where hazardous products are routinely sold to unsuspecting consumers.

Sustainable and Responsible Investing: Is There a Price to Pay?

by Larry Swedroe

Consumers can use their market power to demonstrate their aversion to certain business activities by choosing not to purchase goods or use services from companies that, in their minds, are selling immoral products. Similarly, investors can decide not to invest in such companies. But do those investors sacrifice returns relative to a broad-based index fund?

Are Women Advisors the Future of Financial Advice?

by Dan Richards

Women advisors represent the future of financial advice. Some of the differences from men that held them back in the past will work to their advantage going forward.

The Question You Should Ask Every Prospect

by Dan Solin

Our social interactions – particularly in large groups – are invariably geared to extroverts, who are naturally comfortable in settings designed to interact with strangers. When you and a prospect first meet, you will be strangers. There is a question you can ask that will maximize your chances of establishing a relationship.

Net Promoters: The Best Marketing Money Can’t Buy

by Jeffrey Briskin

Advisors will become net promoters for fund companies they believe offer superior characteristics or benefits in addition to good performance. These advisors will highly recommend these firms’ products to their clients and to their peers. This word-of-mouth advocacy is the most effective marketing tool that money can’t buy.

“Moneyball” Investing: Factors without Fama or French

by Marc Gerstein

Eugene Fama and Kenneth French deserve enormous respect for the work they did in legitimizing an equity investors’ consideration of risk factors beyond the stock market itself and in identifying those factors. But to use factors as effectively as we can, we’ll have to use a framework that meets our client-centered concerns, which are not necessarily the same as those of academicians.

Six Keys to Confident Presenting

by Beverly Flaxington

The person who can best communicate thoughts and feelings to an audience gets heard. For financial advisors, effective communication with prospects, clients, centers of influence and peers is critical. I have developed the Six Keys to Confident Presenting as a guideline for the best way to deliver a message to any audience.

The Danger in Emerging Market Debt

by Robert Huebscher

Most observers saw the recent troubles in the high-yield markets – the gating of the Third Avenue and Stone Lion funds – as a precursor to a junk-bond crisis. Instead, investors should be focusing on a potentially bigger problem, according to Russell Napier. Open-end mutual funds holding emerging-market debt are at risk.

What Would Minsky Do Now?

by Laurence B. Siegel

In the two decades since his death, Hyman Minsky’s stature has grown enormously. He foresaw the great financial crisis of 2007-2009, and economists routinely refer to “Minsky moments” as the tipping point when seemingly stable financial markets collapse with catastrophic consequences. It’s instructive to speculate on how Minsky would view our post-crisis economic recovery, and a new book allows us to do just that.

Recent Commentaries

How Will Low Oil Prices Affect Municipal Bonds?

by Cooper J. Howard and Rob Williams of Charles Schwab

We suggest using caution if you're considering investing in bonds issued by a municipality that relies heavily on the oil-and-gas industry—such as areas in Texas and Oklahoma, parts of Wyoming, and western Pennsylvania. We don't believe low oil prices will lead to widespread defaults, but an extended period of low oil prices could lead to ratings downgrades and lower prices for outstanding bonds.

Are Unicorns for Real?

by Lee Robinson of Altana Wealth

The world is a rapidly changing place. We see lots of disruption with many losers and winners. For asset owners, spotting and removing those stocks and bonds that could fall 80-100% is just as important as finding those new winners. Arguably the former is much easier than the latter.

Predicting Recession

by Carl Tannenbaum of Northern Trust

Economic surveys are reflecting a higher possibility that a recession could begin in the next 12 months.

Trump: We’re Getting Railed by High Taxes and Regulations

by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

It’s not the first time Trump has made a wild claim, but in this case he’s right, by one very important measure—the corporate statutory tax rate. Since 1990, this rate has hovered around 39 percent, making it the highest among OECD nations, and for the largest GDP in the world.

Lost in Translation

by Teresa Kong of Matthews Asia

The imposition of negative rates on Japan’s bank reserves recently caught the market by surprise. Teresa Kong, CFA, Portfolio Manager, explores the possible implications of this new interest rate policy for Japan and the rest of Asia.

Inflation: Dead, or Just Forgotten?

by Michael Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton Investments

We believe that widespread underestimation of future inflation, together with the prospective normalization in the relationship between long-term interest rates and nominal GDP growth, sets the stage for a significant correction in Treasury yields.

This is a Correction, Not a Recession

by Brian Wesbury of First Trust Advisors

With the S&P 500 down 10.5% through February 11th, questions about the health of the economy seem to intensify daily. The concerns typically go something like this: If the financial markets are a predictor of where the economy is headed, has the plow horse finally lost traction? Is a recession looming?

Why It’s a Mistake To Be Raising Cash In This Market

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

It appears that I have become caught up in a spirited discussion regarding holding cash in investment portfolios. However, I believe that my position on this important subject is being misrepresented. Therefore, I felt compelled to offer this article for clarification of my true position and beliefs on the utilization of cash in portfolios.

The Moneyball of Quality Investing

by Vitali Kalesnik, Engin Kose of Research Affiliates

Quality, unlike value, is not a separate factor. But value investing conditioned upon well-chosen quality indicators is a powerful investment strategy.

Recent dshort Posts

S&P 500 Snapshot: A 1.95% Gain Snaps the Five-Day Selloff

Before the US market opened, Japan's Nikkei took a post-holiday plunge of 4.84%. But European indexes were having a good day, with the Euro STOXX 50 subsequently closing with a 3.83% gain. A dramatic surge in oil appears to have triggered the reversal. WTI March Crude Futures have skyrocketed about 11%. The S&P 500 opened higher and rallied through the day to close at its intraday high with a 1.95% advance, snapping a five-day selloff. The question in everyone's mind: Will the recovery continue after the 3-day weekend?

APViewpoint Events presents: Taking the Fiduciary High Ground

Regulation seeks to protect the public; professional advisors seek to serve the public. In this session, Blaine will help advisors understand how the "big picture" can make a big difference when it comes to successfully managing their regulatory and professional obligations. Blaine will answer attendees' questions during the webinar and will also be available to continue the discussion on APViewpoint.

ECRI Weekly Leading Index: Up Fractionally from the Previous Week

ECRI's latest feature article suggests that consumer driven economic growth is a myth. The WLI annualized growth indicator (WLIg) is at -2.6, a decrease of 0.3 from the previous week, and well off its interim low of -4.7 in mid-January. The YoY is now at -0.68%, in negative territory for the majority of the last 52 weeks.

Michigan Consumer Sentiment: February Preliminary Continued Slow Decline

The University of Michigan Preliminary Consumer Sentiment for February came in at 90.7, a 1.3 point decrease from the 92.0 January Final reading. had forecast an even 92.0.

Retail Sales: January Sales Show a Pleasant Bounce

The Census Bureau's Advance Retail Sales Report released this morning shows that seasonally adjusted sales in January posted a welcome rebound from the December data, and those December numbers were adjusted upward. Headline sales increased 0.2% month-over-month and are up 3.4% year-over-year. Core Retail Sales (ex Autos) increased 0.1% MoM and are up 2.5% YoY. The forecasts were 0.1% for both Headline and Core Sales.

New Jobless Claims: Down 16K, Better Than Forecast

Today's seasonally adjusted 269K new claims, down 16K from last week's number, was better than the forecast of 281K. The four-week moving average is at 281,250, down from last week's unrevised 284,750.

Weekly Heating Oil Price Update: Now at $2.09 per Gallon

With winter in full swing, we've been thinking about the cold weather and thus our heating bill. Commodities saw their prices drop in 2015 with a 41% decline in energy. With the warmer weather this holiday season and warmer forecasts thanks to El Niño, heating oil prices will likely continue to drop. We're already seeing lower prices than at this time last year.