The Alternative Investments Channel

The Tax and Financial Planning Impact of Repealing the ACA

Here are several items that would be impacted by a full repeal of the ACA. It’s important to note that the replacement plan Republicans want to introduce does not yet exist. It’s very possible that some of these provisions could return in whatever replacement plan is ultimately proposed.

Caveat Investor? The “Fiduciary Rule” and Unintended Consequences

Who could argue with an advisor having to act in the best interest of his or her client? Well, I’m indeed going to argue that it’s at least less obvious than it first appears. Even if the rule turns out to be a net positive, I’m going to argue that there are potential large unintended consequences to worry about. This is not a screed against such a rule.

European Banks: Be Mindful of Risks in 2017

European banks seem to be on an upward trajectory – although improvements are likely to come at a slow pace and with some risks.

Washington, D.C. moves to center stage…

Time for the new White House and Congress to put pen to paper. While the equity markets have sustained their high levels, intra-day volatility in currencies, bonds and equities have surged as those markets attempt to react to every rumor and tweet out of Washington and Trump Tower.

The Latest News in Alternative Investing

Using alternative investments allows investors to hedge against changes in the market and still see positive returns. Commodity ETFs and real estate investments offer investors options outside of traditionally “safe” investments. The rise of popularity in alternative investments has led to the acquisition of many smaller, specialized firms with specific industry knowledge that claim to understand how to best profit from the many asset classes.

Forecasting with Friends

I gave you my own thoughts last week (see “Skeptically Optimistic”). Today we’ll review several other forecasts from people who deserve your attention. Of necessity, I must leave out some good ones, but I think the ones I cover will give you plenty of useful information.

American Small Businesses Party Like It’s 2004

Look at what President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to lower taxes and slash regulations is doing to business optimism here in the U.S. Last month, the Index of Small Business Optimism soared a phenomenal 7.4 points to 105.8, its highest reading since 2004. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which conducts the survey, reported that attitudes toward capital spending and job creation in particular surprised to the upside. Research firm Evercore ISI called it a “blowout report,” and I have to agree.

Form 5500 Gets a Makeover: What Does This Mean for Plan Sponsors?

On July 21, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed amendments to the 5500 series forms in a “Notice of Proposed Forms Revisions,” prepared jointly by three agencies: the DOL, the Internal Revenue Service and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, collectively referred to as “the agencies.”

Building a Better Path: Seven Things Investors Need to Know for 2017

Rising volatility and yields. Toppy valuations. Global policy uncertainty. To handle these bumps in the road, investors need to build a better return path focused on strong up/down capture. Further, we see seven key themes affecting that path ahead.

Expert Opinion

The opinions of experts concerning the future are accorded great weight . . . but they’re still just opinions. Experts may be right more often than the rest of us, but they’re unlikely to be right all the time, or anything close to it. This year’s election season gave us plenty of opportunities to see expert opinion in action. I’ll start this memo by reflecting on them.

2017 Commodity Outlook

While many group commodities as one asset class, in reality each commodity trades on its own fundamentals. Historic correlation between commodities has been relatively low. In this outlook we will provide an overview of our views on major commodities within each sub-category.

2017 Outlook: Focus Shifts to Fiscal Policy & Populist Politics

As the markets close the books on another tumultuous year, Neil Dwane, Global Strategist for Allianz Global Investors, says investors should keep watch on the rise of populist politics, China’s re-emergence as a global growth engine and a renewed focus on government spending as interest rates remain low.

2017 ETF Top Trends and Insights

The Year of the Dynamic ETF With the world digesting the surprising results of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, the team at IndexIQ has turned their thoughts to next year and their top five ETF-focused trends and insights for 2017.

Snow Falls, Stocks Rise…

It was a big first week of 2017 for the weather and for the U.S. markets. As temps dropped and snow hit nearly every state in the union, stocks only wanted to move into the clouds. The numbers showed that it was a different type of week with growth, biotech and FANG stocks leading the week one charge.

The Key Business Trends in the Advisory Business

There are several irrefutable facts that should be informing the strategies for leaders in financial services.