The Smart Beta Channel

The Powerful Relationship Between Dating and Closing Prospects

Being rejected by someone you hoped to date leaves a painful memory, just as does losing a prospect who was a good fit for planning services. Here’s the powerful lesson that avoids losses – in both situations!

Green Grass and High Tides: Earnings Stellar But Not Without Risk

The book is closing on third quarter earnings, which were stellar; but is it time to worry about a bar set too high in 2018?

Merrill Memo

Charles Merrill issued the aforementioned memo to clients on March 31, 1928. At the end of the first quarter in 1928 the D-J Industrial Average was around 240. It subsequently rose to a September 3, 1929 peak of 381.17, which was the price peak for the Industrials that would not be surpassed until 1954, not that we are predicting anything like that here.

What’s on Congress’s Table? The Dish on the Tax Bills

Congressional Republican leaders are hungry for tax reform. The House bill passed. The Senate bill is under debate. But the two versions must be reconciled before final legislation lands on the president’s desk. It’s a lot to digest. Thankfully, we’ve compared the bills and assessed their likely effects on the municipal market.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Black Friday Lead to a Green Market?

The economic calendar includes few reports, crammed into two days of a holiday-shortened week. Many will be taking time off – including some of the “A List” pundits. I expect to see some new faces on financial television and a lot of discussion about consumers and the economy. Many will be asking: What does Black Friday mean for the economy, and for stocks?

Annual Beneficiary Audits: As Important as a Will

Many investors assume a will dictates where their assets will go. But without properly designated beneficiaries, investors may not reach their legacy goals.

Chicago Fed: Growth Up in October

"Index points to a pickup in economic growth in October." This is the headline for today's release of the Chicago Fed's National Activity Index, and here is the opening paragraph from the report: "Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) rose to +0.65 in October from +0.36 in September."

Time to Trim, but Not Abandon Gold

Gold has performed surprisingly well this year. Russ discusses why that might not be the case going forward, and it may be time to pare positions.

Neil Hennessy – The Opportunities in Mid-Cap and Japanese Stocks

Neil Hennessy is a portfolio manager and chief investment officer at Hennessy Funds. In this interview, he discusses the compelling opportunities in mid-cap and Japanese stocks, and what RIAs should be doing in advance of the next market correction.

Thanksgiving and the Long-Term Pilgrimage of Interest Rates

As Thanksgiving approaches, we are reminded of our history. Financial planners are the voice of the financial industry for many of our clients. Here’s a bit about the history of interest rates in this wonderful country of ours as well as globally.

Brief Observations: Hindenburgs and Titanics

Turbulence in market internals, in the face of record market highs, is often a symptom of increasing risk-aversion and skittishness among investors.

How Have Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria Impacted the Municipal Bond Market?

The financial impact of 2017’s three devastating hurricanes has varied greatly depending on the region affected. From a credit standpoint, the most important takeaway is that each region’s ability to withstand the financial impact of the storms depends on its credit quality ahead of the storm.

On My Radar: A Fatal Attraction for the Slim Chance

My daughter, Brianna, and I were recently listening to a Charlie Rose interview on Bloomberg Radio. I love the way he asks direct questions. The interview featured Jeremiah Tower, a little-known chef who pioneered a restaurant revolution in the 1970s that gave rise to the culinary style known as “California Cuisine.”

What the Tax Bills Could Mean for You

With the passage of the House’s tax reform bill, the Republicans have moved significantly closer to one of their key political goals. Of course, the Senate bill still needs to pass that chamber, and then the reconciled bill must pass both chambers. But the fact that the fractious Republican factions in the House have come together is a signal that passage is a real possibility. 

How do you measure an active manager’s success?

Financial research and technology can dissect individual funds to attribute the reasons behind performance.