The Robo Advisors Channel

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.

Investors Brace for a Storm of Uncertainty with Gold

Back in November, I wrote that domestic carriers are likely to see the new president—himself the former owner of the now-defunct Trump Airlines—as a strong partner in several key areas. Although a couple of airline CEOs have recently expressed strong opposition to some of Trump’s protectionist immigration policies, yesterday’s meeting appeared to be constructive, with the president telling the group he would soon be announcing something “phenomenal in terms of tax and developing our aviation infrastructure.”

A Way To Really Add Value

There’s one area where you can add value – and where even the most sophisticated software cannot succeed. It’s largely ignored and often misunderstood. It’s also a subject few want to confront, which is why you can play such an important role.

New Threats to the AUM-Fee Model

My article last month on developments that imperil the AUM-fee model generated a spirited response on APViewpoint. A recent report from Accenture Consulting and an interview I did with a compliance professional illustrate why this subject is more controversial than I originally thought.

Will Q4 Earnings Confirm Recent Economic Strength?

My scorecard for earnings season will look for the following company characteristics: Confidence. I expect most to have a murky outlook, with no reason to set the future bar very high. Important trade relationships – imports or exports. Comments on these fears may create some buying opportunities. Concern about a stronger dollar. Everyone is teed up to watch for this, and we should as well.

The Key Business Trends in the Advisory Business

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