The Robo Advisors Channel

The Great Reset, Part Two

Last week I discussed what I think will be the fallout from the Great Reset, when the massive amounts of global (and especially government) debt and the bubble in government promises will have to be dealt with. I think we’ll see a period of great volatility in the markets. I offered a solution for dealing with this complexity and uncertainty in the markets by diversifying trading strategies. But that diversification must reflect a rethinking of Modern Portfolio Theory, including a significant reshaping of valuations in asset classes. We’ll deal with those topics today.

Jack Bogle on the Limits of the Fiduciary Rule and the Future of the Advisory Industry

Speaking two weeks after his 88th birthday, Jack Bogle called the fiduciary rule “silly” and said that financial advisors’ fees are heading lower. Indeed, he said, advisors are destined to charge hourly or retainer fees, like lawyers and accountants.

Are You Oblivious to Fee Compression?

You are my friends and clients. I have great respect for the work you do and appreciate the value you add to the lives of your clients. That’s why it’s painful for me to see so many of you headed for trouble by denying the obvious trend in fee compression.

Why the Future is Bright for AUM-Based Advisors

Over the past several months, I have been reading Dan Solin’s thought pieces in Advisor Perspectives[1] and believe his gloomy outlook for the planning profession, and, more specifically, for advisors who are compensated via AUM-based fees, is misguided.

Why Do So Few Individuals Seek Professional Financial Advice?

Although 76% of respondents to FINRA’s 2012 national financial capability study reported not being satisfied with their personal financial situation, very few sought financial advice, with 9% seeking debt counseling and 30% seeking insurance advice. This discrepancy motivated our research paper titled “Who Seeks Financial Advice?” This article summarizes the key findings from that research.

What Do the Recent SEC Robo Guidelines Mean for Advisors?

New SEC guidance provides effective ways for advisors to comply with disclosure regulations.

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.

ETFs’ Total Costs Underappreciated

ETFs can have significant costs that aren’t entirely evident in expense ratios. From transaction to holding costs to ETF composition, the total costs of ETFs can be a significant drag on returns, which are coming under the microscope, as are the robo-advisors that typically use them.

Private Sector Productivity Fell In 2016 - Worst Since 2009

One key measure of US economic productivity actually declined in 2016 for the first time since the depths of the Great Recession in 2009. The amount of goods and services produced, versus the total inputs of labor and capital to produce them, declined slightly last year for the first time in seven years.

What’s the Difference between a TAMP and a Robo?

Are “robos” nothing more than the latest version of TAMPs – turn-key asset management platforms?

Robos are Taking Away Our Jobs (and it’s not just advisors)

When robots and automation have taken over not only the agriculture and manufacturing jobs but even the high-level service jobs, who will drive consumption? Will the economy stagnate? These are the questions posed by Martin Ford in his challenging, important and well-researched book, Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future.

Robo-Advisors vs. Human Advisors: Which Provides the Services That People Most Want?

While robos can help simplify processes, human relationships are key to satisfaction, says one investment survey.

Shundrawn Thomas on the State of the ETF Industry

Shundrawn Thomas serves as Northern Trust’s executive vice president, head of funds and managed accounts group. I spoke to him about his annual president’s perspective on the ETF industry, which was just released.

The Downside of Excessive Caution

As advisors, you counsel your clients about risk. But based on my experience, you don’t take enough risk. Your excessive caution is imperiling your business.

The Myth Of The “Passive Indexing” Revolution

There is little argument that Exchange Traded Funds, more commonly referred to as “ETF’s” have and will continue to change the landscape of investing.