The General Advisory Channel

New Tools to Prove You Acted as a Fiduciary

This article, the first of two parts, is a review of some of the more prominent new tools that advisors can lean on as they prepare for the full DOL rule implementation on April 10. Each of them addresses a different aspect of the rule, and they all approach it from different angles.

What I Learned from Value Investor Guy Spier

Guy Spier published a book, The Education of a Value Investor: My Transformative Quest for Wealth, Wisdom, and Enlightenment. It is not a traditional investing book. In fact, I’ll say that differently: This is the most untraditional book on investing you’re likely to encounter.

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.

Under Control: How a Disciplined Approach Can Keep Investors Focused

Investing for the long term is not a new concept, yet an increasingly large body of research suggests that investors are prone to short-term thinking. Although behavioral finance has identified the importance of taking emotion out of investing, for many this is easier said than done. While behavioral modifications can help, we believe that a risk-controlled investment approach can help limit rash decisions, while keeping investors focused on the long term.

The Key Business Trends in the Advisory Business

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

B.I.C.E.: Financial Advisors Beware

I question why any financial advisor would want to use B.I.C.E., given the likelihood of significant reputational damage that would result for the advisor.

The Economic Risk of Ignoring Arithmetic

Outcomes are not independent of initial conditions. While there are certainly policy shifts that could encourage greater productive investment and raise the long-run trajectory of economic growth, no shift in economic policies is likely to produce rapid, sustained economic growth in the next few years because the underlying factors that drive rapid, sustained growth aren’t presently in a position to support it.

Six Key Events That Could Shape Markets in 2017

2016 played host to the unexpected with the U.S. presidential election and Brexit vote. 2017 will bring its own events that could have consequences for global markets.

How Much Do I Need To Retire?

Grappling with the question of how much is one of the toughest relating to pensions

Moving Averages: December Month-End Update

Valid until the market close on January 31, 2016

The S&P 500 closed December with a monthly gain of 1.82% after a gain of 3.42% in November. All three S&P 500 MAs are signaling "invested" and three of the five Ivy Portfolio ETF MAs — Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), PowerShares DB (DBC), and Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU) — are signaling "invested". In the table, monthly closes that are within 2% of a signal are highlighted in yellow.

New Developments Imperil Your AUM Fee Model

Some recent publications from SEI, Fidelity and Schwab highlight the urgency with which advisors must confront the fiduciary aspects of the fee model they use.

Either/Or: How Should We Invest?

An investment landscape of increasingly binary outcomes requires fundamentally different involvement by investors. Importantly, those taking their cues primarily from the US economy are likely to be woefully unprepared.

Give the Gift That Will Last a Lifetime: A College Education

The holidays are upon us again, and many grandparents are looking forward to one of their favorite moments of the season – the delighted smiles of grandkids opening a present they’ve been dreaming of all year. Give it a few weeks, though, and last year’s trendiest toy often becomes this year’s latest giveaway.

Alternative Investments: Incorporating a Turnkey Solution

Alternative investments have been gaining wide acceptance in many investors’ portfolios as a way to provide diversification. However, incorporating these strategies into portfolios introduces two challenges: 1) understanding the complexity of these strategies and 2) determining the appropriate allocation of alternatives in a diversified portfolio.

Upping the Ante: The DOL Rule and Risk Management

The DOL fiduciary rule's far-sweeping changes have placed risk management front and center for financial advisors. From practice management to portfolio risk, Glenn Dial, Head of Retirement Strategy in the US with Allianz Global Investors, says the stakes are elevated, even after the election.