The General Advisory Channel

529 Plans: An A+ Choice for Employers?

College savings plans can help companies boost their employee benefits packages.

Charitable Tax Planning Opportunity: Donate Appreciated Stock to Charity

For advisors with philanthropically-minded clients, publicly traded appreciated stock can be among the most tax-advantaged items to donate to charity. Contributing such assets may enable the donor to enjoy a current year tax deduction and potentially eliminate capital gains tax liability on the sale of the asset, while allowing the charities they support to receive the most money possible.

Do I Need a Succession Plan if I Will Never Retire?

I don’t see myself retiring. I have two children in their mid 20s. They could take over my firm if need be. I resent my team inferring that I don’t have a succession plan. Is there a polite way to tell them to back off?

Why Your Clients’ Investments, Not Cash, Make the Best Charitable Gifts

What might a stock holding, a piece of real estate, shares in a privately held company, interests in private equity, venture or hedge funds, and fine art or collectibles have in common? Whether purchased for love or investment purposes, they can help your clients realize the maximum tax benefits from their charitable giving.

Beware The Wu Wei of Passive Bond Investing

Passive “doing-by-not-doing” is no way to run a bond portfolio today.

When Should We Care About Geopolitical Risk?

Russell Investments’ Senior Investment Strategist, Wouter Sturkenboom explores geopolitical risks through the three building blocks of our investment process: Cycle, Value and Sentiment.

Earnings Update: As Expected, Companies Beat Expectations

Will the stock market rally continue? That’s a big question right now, and the answer will depend on two things...

Adjusting to a Sustained Low-Yield Environment

Unorthodox monetary policies, low and negative interest rates, and other factors such as aging demographics have led to an ongoing hunt for yield. The result has brought even risk-averse investors further and further out on the risk spectrum. This paper, Adjusting to a sustained low-yield environment examines the issues.

The Passive Aggressive “Agg”

Peter Chiappinelli, CFA; GMO LLC discusses the common benchmark, the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index (the Agg). There’s nothing passive about the Agg, as it’s aggressively been taking on more risk. There are three main reasons for this concern: the simple math of bond duration; the changing composition of the index; and the very logical financing behavior of corporate borrowers.

Moving Averages: February Month-End Update

Valid until the market close on March 31, 2017

The S&P 500 closed February with a monthly gain of 3.72% after a gain of 1.79% in January. All three S&P 500 MAs are signaling "invested" and four of the five Ivy Portfolio ETFs — Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU), Vanguard REIT Index ETF (VNQ), and PowerShares DB (DBC) — are signaling "invested".

The Demise of the Fiduciary Rule is a Bonanza for Advisors

The announcement that the Secretary of Labor must conduct a new economic and legal analysis of the fiduciary rule is a setback to those of us who care about investors. Hidden in this adverse development is a potential bonanza for advisors. Here’s why.

The Bromance that Turned Economics Upside Down

Who would guess that the modern sciences of behavioral economics and the psychology of decision-making owe their origin to a love affair (no, not sexual) between two men born early in the last century and so different that one could barely imagine them speaking to each other? Yet that is the story chronicled by the extraordinary nonfiction writer Michael Lewis in The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed our Minds, which, despite some quirks, is a compelling and worthwhile read.

On My Radar: Looking for a Good Bargain

Last week I shared a chart with you that’s done a good job at signaling inflation. We tend to react slowly to news and, over time, we wake up. Then we herd in and out. In the “waking up” category, we better keep rising inflation on our radar.

UN Sustainability Goals: A Road Map for Impact Investing

Equity investors are increasingly thinking about how their decisions affect society. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a good road map for identifying investments that can make an impact—and generate profits as well.

Impact Investing and Donor-Advised Funds: Guidance for the Savvy Donor

Impact investing continues to grow in popularity. Donor-advised funds are a useful tool for impact investing, provided that donors and their advisors are aware of certain points before making these investments.