Articles

Articles from our Weekly Newsletters

My Journey toward a Better, Simpler Fiduciary Rule

I have no problem whatsoever with the intent of the DOL fiduciary rule (may it rest in peace). But I was dismayed with the rule’s final form. In fact, I believe that the DOL’s voluminous tome can be distilled to a single sentence.

Fostering a Culture of Compliance

Successful advisory firms value their culture of compliance, and continue to build on the program they have in place. Here are a few best practices.

The Importance of Behavioral Style

Many thanks to those who joined me last week for my webinar, Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Clients. Whenever I get questions on how to handle someone who is difficult, or what to do when a client (or employee) is unreasonable, I focus first on the differences in style.

Three Steps to Building Your Content

How can you use your content marketing to drive traffic, establish yourself as an expert and ultimately grow your business? I’ll highlighting three main steps: finding your voice, creating a routine and managing and monitoring your results.

Don’t be Misled by Studies on the Value Advisors Add

A recently released report assessed the value of an advisor to be approximately 4.08% a year. This should have been encouraging news to beleaguered advisors coping with a rapidly changing competitive environment. It had the opposite effect on me.

What the All-Knowing Advisor Doesn’t Know

Many advisors feel the need to project an image of total confidence. They answer questions about investing and financial planning with no hint of doubt. But they overlook the virtues of humility, especially when it comes to questions outside their areas of expertise.

My Boss is a Lousy Communicator

My boss is a terrible communicator. He rarely holds meetings to speak to us as a team, but when he does he always stumbles over his words or says something totally inappropriate. He will say things that are meant to inspire us or motivate us but they come out garbled and un-motivating.

Flawed Research on Factor Investing

The popularity of smart-beta products has raised concerns that certain factors have been “overgrazed” – that their expected return has been driven down due to popularity-driven demand. A new research paper purports to refute this concern. But its logic is flawed and practitioners should be highly skeptical of its conclusions.

Rising Rates and the Impact on Investment Advice

Since the early 1980s, bond investors have benefitted from declining interest rates. But we may be turning to a future of rising rates and clients suffering bond losses. Advisors need to be prepared both in terms of investment strategy recommendations and communication with clients.

Me, My Boy and Warren Buffett

Will my son become a value investor? I don’t know, but I hope that some of the values of value investing will rub off on him and he’ll treat the stock market not as a casino but as a place where you buy businesses at a significant margin of safety

Loomis Sayles 2017 Investment Outlook

A synchronized pickup in global economic activity has lifted the spirits of businesses, consumers and investors worldwide. Though many equity markets are near 52-week highs and credit spreads are near multi-year lows, we still believe the US credit cycle has time to advance in its later stage.

The Forgotten Path to Prosperity

Modern central bankers try to convince the world that deflation is evil. They preach that they must intervene to stoke inflation at all cost for the good of society. The truth is that deflation is a beneficial byproduct of innovation and productivity gains.

Why Reinsurance Belongs in Client Portfolios

My firm recently approved a new alternative investment, one that until recently was only available through hedge funds, the Stone Ridge Reinsurance Risk Premium Interval Fund (SRRIX).

The Power of Self-Reflection

If you ask financial advisors – as I have – what’s truly important to them, their personal goals and dreams, and what makes them genuinely happy, they get uncomfortable.

Why Conferences are a Big Charade (and how to fix them)

It’s time to re-think how conferences for financial advisors are conducted.