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March 15, 2011 - Vol 5 Issue 11

Dear Reader,   

 

Add more value to your clients' portfolios by understanding the impact that different alternative strategies have in the portfolio construction process.  Join us and Envestnet on our webinar to learn more about how to effectively incorporate alternative investments into portfolio strategies.  Register here. 

 

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star logoMason Hawkins and Staley Cates on Today's Opportunities for Value Investors
      
By Robert Huebscher

Southeastern Asset Management's Mason Hawkins and Staley Cates, two of today's most respected value investors, discuss their portfolio and the principles behind their Graham and Dodd methodology.  They explain why they like certain commodity-based companies and why they disagree with Bruce Berkowitz on the opportunities in the financial sector.


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star logoTips and Tricks of Reconciling with PortfolioCenter
      
Sponsored Content by ByAllAccounts

 

As most investment professionals know, reconciled account data is the foundation for creating value for your clients.  In this webinar we will cover: what reconciliation is and why is it necessary, best practices for account reconciliation in PortfolioCenter, how various PortfolioCenter transaction types affect the positions and balances in an account, and what those effects look like on a reconciliation report.   Register by clicking the link below for the webinar TOMORROW March 16 at 2pm (ET). 


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star logoNine Words that Saved $600,000
      
By Dan Richards

Nearly 15 years ago, the owner of a successful Chicago restaurant realized that no-shows were costing him $900,000 annually. Then he made one simple change that cut his no-show rate by two-thirds, from 30 % to 10% ... saving him $600,000 yearly.  This change has powerful implications for advisors trying to advance relationships with prospective clients.


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star logoRunning on Empty
      
By Michael Lewitt
      

Despite the increasing undercurrent of negative news creeping into the financial markets, the stock market remains strong.  HCM expects equities to continue to perform well for the foreseeable future (i.e. through the end of June) although most of this letter will discuss the reasons why it shouldn't.  In some ways, this market is a lot like Charlie Sheen.  It pretends to have tiger blood and the powers of a warlock, but deep inside it is suffering from an addiction to a substance (i.e. debt) that will ultimately kill it.


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star logoMargin Shrinkage - It Can Happen to You
      
By Vitaliy Katsenelson 

 

Profit margins are a tick away from all-time highs and are creating the impression of cheap equity valuations.   But that impression is a mirage, because today's generous margins are destined to shrink.

 

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star logoNailing the Invisible Interview
     
By Justin Locke

I am always looking for a marketing edge, employing everything from social media to traditional collateral. But the other day I saw marketing from the other side.  Someone acquired me as a new client, and it was revealing to learn why.  

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star logoHow to Get the Best Photo for Your Web Site
      By Wendy Cook

If your photo is missing or misused on your website, social media profiles, brochures, and other introductory materials, then consider this your call to action. A few simple suggestions can help you literally put your best face forward in your corporate communications. 

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star logoLove Means Always Having to Say You're Sorry

        By Mariko Gordon

 

In practice, it's not a question of whether or not money managers will make mistakes, it's simply a matter of when. Mariko Gordon looks at why the way in which a particular firm handles mistakes is as important as the errors themselves.


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star logoHighlights from Market Commentaries

U.S. Household Incomes: A 42-Year Perspective

 

In preparation for a presentation at the Retirement Income Industry Association later this month, I've been researching household incomes in the United States. My data source is the Census Bureau, which has a quintile breakdown of data from 1967 through 2009. The pie chart here shows that the top fifth of households in 2009 took home 50% of the nation's income. The middle fifth received 15% and bottom fifth 3%. The charts below show income growth over the complete data series. In addition to the quintiles, the Census Bureau includes the mean income for the top five percent of households

 

U.S. Household Incomes: A 42-Year Perspective by Doug Short of Doug Short

 

The Seven Immutable Laws of Investing

 

This dearth of assets offering a margin of safety raises a conundrum for the asset allocation professional: what does one do when nothing is cheap? Personally, I'd seek to raise cash. This is obvious not for its uninspiring near-zero yield, but because it acts as dry powder - a store of value to deploy when the opportunity set offered by Mr. Market becomes more appealing. And this is likely, as long as the emotional pendulum of investors oscillates between the depths of despair and irrational exuberance as it always has done. Of course, the timing of these swings remains as nebulous as ever.

 

The Seven Immutable Laws of Investing by James Montier of GMO

 

Finding Low Risk Value in Today's Market

 

The investment environment is transitioning from a macro-driven, reflation environment into one where earnings drive performance. US companies are well positioned at this juncture and contrary to consumers and the government have come out of this crisis in good shape. Some commentators question the outlook for corporate profitability, arguing that profits are mean-reverting and that they can only weaken. We disagree, however, we acknowledge that price pressures are now showing up in import prices, and companies will need to offset these costs with increased prices or improve their productivity

 

Finding Low Risk Value in Today's Market by Team of GaveKal Capital

 



Below are the three most widely read commentaries during the last week:   

 

 

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