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

ECRI Weekly Leading Index: WLI Inches Up

by Jill Mislinski of Advisor Perspectives (dshort.com)

Today's release of the publicly available data from ECRI (Economic Cycle Research Institute) puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 138.1, up 0.2 from the previous week. Year-over-year the four-week moving average of the indicator is now at 4.65%, up from 4.38% the previous week and its highest since November 2013. The WLI Growth indicator is now at 8.1.

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.

Are stocks expensive? Perhaps, but so what...

by Jon Adams, Michael Dowdall, Alan Schwartz, Lowell Yura of BMO Global Asset Management

The numerous ways to calculate stock price often conflict, and BMO cautions making an investment decision based on any one valuation conclusion. However, BMO GAM remains modestly overweight equities in its portfolios, predominantly due to the predictive power of valuation measures and future returns.

Picks and Shovels: The Changing Tools of Investment Research

by David Robertson of Arete Asset Management

The landscape for investment research has changed a great deal over the last twenty years. In many ways, these changes portend a great deal of opportunity to improve investment outcomes.

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.

Yellen's Jackson Hole Remarks Make US Rate Hike More Likely

by Joseph Carson of AllianceBernstein

When US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spoke at the Jackson Hole Symposium this morning, she was unusually direct on the stronger case for a September rate hike.

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%.

Designing an Investment Plan Specifically for College Savers

by Duy Nguyen of Invesco

In 2015, the State of Rhode Island selected Ascensus College Savings as the program manager and Invesco as the investment manager for the state’s 529 college savings plan, which is available to investors nationwide.

Recent dshort Posts

World Markets Weekend Update: Six of the Eight Post Losses ... Again

Only two of the eight equity indexes on our global watch list posted week-over-week gains in our latest update, same as last week. The two Eurozone indexes, France's CAC and Germany's DAXK, were the two who finished in the green, a shift from the Asian advance the previous week, when the Shanghai and Hang Seng were the sole gainers. In fact, the Shanghai Composite did a complete flip from its 1.88% gain the previous week to its -1.22% finish on Friday. The average of the eight improved fractionally from -0.56% the previous week to -0.39% for the latest.

S&P 500 Snapshot: A Modest Loss Follows the Jackson Hole Drama

This morning's Second Estimate of Q2 GDP at 1.1% was a ho-hum event in advance of Fed Chair Yellen speech at Jackson Hole. And indeed the intraday range volatility of today's session was at the 70th percentile of the 165 market days of 2016 and the widest in 37 sessions. The S&P 500 opened higher, rallied with the opening of her speech, and then sold off sharply during with Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer's suggestion that a couple of rate hikes this year were possible. The index bounced back later in the afternoon to its -0.16% Friday close. The index is down 0.68% for the week.

Visualizing GDP: An Inside Look at the Q2 Second Estimate

The accompanying chart is a way to visualize real GDP change since 2007. It uses a stacked column chart to segment the four major components of GDP with a dashed line overlay to show the sum of the four, which is real GDP itself. Here is the latest overview from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Q2 Real GDP Per Capita: 0.39% Versus the 1.1% Headline Real GDP

The Second Estimate for Q2 GDP, to one decimal, came in at 1.1 percent, down slightly from from 1.2 percent in the Advance Estimate. With a per-capita adjustment, the data is a bit more than a third of the headline number at 0.39 percent. The 10-year moving average illustrates that US economic growth has slowed dramatically since the last recession.

ECRI Weekly Leading Index: WLI Inches Up

Today's release of the publicly available data from ECRI (Economic Cycle Research Institute) puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 138.1, up 0.2 from the previous week. Year-over-year the four-week moving average of the indicator is now at 4.65%, up from 4.38% the previous week and its highest since November 2013. The WLI Growth indicator is now at 8.1.

Michigan Consumer Sentiment: August Final Eases Back

The University of Michigan Final Consumer Sentiment for August came in at 89.8, a 0.2 point decrease from the 90.0 July Final reading. Investing.com had forecast 90.6.

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 Investing.com posting a consensus of 1.1 percent.