Numbers Game

Numbers Gameblog

Latest research and trends from around the financial advisory business, updated regularly highlighting stats, charts, infographics and all things data.

May 26, 2015, 6:55 AM EST

How your peers view robo-advisers

By Alessandra Malito Ellie Zhu Matt Sirinides

In a study set to publish in the coming week, InvestmentNews Research, in partnership with BlackRock, surveyed over 400 advisers with the goal of identifying what separates the largest, fastest-growing firms from their peers on a host of issues affecting their businesses today. In the report, titled “The Study of Elite RIAs”, there is a focus on adviser technology and marketing, as well as their intersection within the context of the recent upswing of the robo-advice model. Below, in a preview of the results, is how advisers responded to some of the most critical questions surrounding the robo-advice trend.(Related read: Robo-advisers want to plan your clients' future)... Read full post

May 3, 2015, 7:01 AM EST

The best- and worst-performing target date funds

By Trevor Hunnicutt and InvestmentNews Data

It's often said that a majority of an investor's return is driven by one factor: asset allocation. That's true of target date mutual funds, which manage more than $700 billion in retirement savings, according to Morningstar Inc. While large caps beat small caps last year, so far this year it's the other way around. “Wells Fargo's longer-date funds have pretty hefty relative allocations to smaller-cap stocks, which dragged on results in 2014 but has helped in 2015,” said Janet Yang, an analyst at Morningstar.While U.S. stocks charged ahead of their international counterparts in 2014, those fortunes have reversed. Most of American Century Investments' funds have lost the tail wind they enjoyed from having a limited stake in foreign stocks. But the firm said it has since updated its allocation to reflect higher long-term returns in international markets. AllianceBernstein, which overweights non-U.S. stocks, is getting a boost... Read full post

May 1, 2015, 2:55 PM EST

How the biggest independent broker-dealer networks stack up

By Denise Southwood Ellie Zhu

After looking at the independent broker-dealers with the most producing reps and the biggest year-over-year gains in assets and revenue in 2014, attention now shifts to the industry's big networks and the various firms under their umbrellas.Below you'll find a ranking of how the five biggest independent broker-dealer networks measure up when it comes to total number of reps, producing reps and total revenue. You can also click to see how the affiliated firms within each network contributed to the network's full 2014 picture. For even more insight on what this ever-changing industry looked like in 2014, don't forget to check out our full Top Independent Broker-Dealers of 2015 special report.... Read full post

Apr 30, 2015, 10:58 AM EST

The independent broker-dealers with the biggest revenue and asset gains in 2014

By Denise Southwood Ellie Zhu

Revenues at the largest independent broker-dealers grew 10.3% year-over-year in 2014, a figure in line with the broad market but below the 13.2% year-over-year revenue increase in 2013.While LPL Financial and Ameriprise dominate the independent broker-dealer industry based on total revenue, a group of other firms saw significant revenue and asset growth between 2013 and 2014. See which firms are on the rise, and don't forget to check out the full Top Independent Broker-Dealers of 2015 special report.... Read full post

Apr 29, 2015, 4:01 PM EST

The independent broker-dealers with the most female advisers

By InvestmentNews Data and Ellie Zhu

The data collected from 41 independent broker-dealers as part of InvestmentNews' Top Independent Broker-Dealers of 2015 special report sheds light on where the industry stands in its push to recruit more female advisers.The space is male-dominated, but some broker-dealers have come close to having 30% of producing female reps on staff.See below for how the gender divide looked in 2014 compared to 2013, as well as a ranking of the five firms that have the highest percentage of female reps. Plus, get more insight on the indie B-D landscape in our full special report.... Read full post

Apr 29, 2015, 2:13 PM EST

Is adviser compensation rising in tandem with advisory firm revenues?

By Matt Sirinides

Our research studies have shown again and again that independent adviser compensation stacks up well against some of the best-paid professional careers. Two years ago, after the results were in from our 2013 InvestmentNews/Moss Adams Adviser Compensation & Staffing Study, we published a comparison between the compensation, job experience and other factors from the most common positions at advisory firms and other job titles in finance, accounting, law, medicine and engineering. What we found was that, across the board, wages at advisory firms were eminently competitive with other industries. (Look back: How adviser salaries stack up to other professions)Earlier this month the Labor Department published a report stating that financial firms posted wage growth of 2.3% last year, slightly ahead of overall private sector wages, which grew 2.1%. Over the last five years, wage growth has posted a steady but sluggish 2% increase each year.... Read full post

Apr 28, 2015, 2:50 PM EST

The latest ranking of independent broker-dealers by rep head count

By InvestmentNews Data and Ellie Zhu

Even if recruiting at independent broker-dealers has hit a wall, the industry still features a number of firms with expanding numbers of registered reps. Here's a snapshot of the number of reps at the biggest independent broker-dealers, including how their rep counts changed between 2013 and 2014. While LPL Financial still dominates in total rep count, the much smaller HD Vest enjoyed a 21% year-to-year rep increase. For more insight on the independent broker-dealer landscape, be sure to check out our full Top Independent Broker-Dealers of 2015 special report.... Read full post

Apr 27, 2015, 2:18 PM EST

The independent broker-dealers that offer the highest average payouts

By InvestmentNews Data and Ellie Zhu

In 2014, independent broker-dealers enjoyed double-digit revenue increases, but adviser recruiting slowed considerably.While adviser movement may have decreased in 2014, average payouts remained robust at the industry's best-paying firms. We've ranked the top-paying independent broker-dealers based on their average annual payouts in 2014.Also included is a look at how much the payouts have changed between 2013 and 2014. See below for which firms offered the biggest 2014 pay days, and don't miss our full Top Independent Broker-Dealers of 2015 special report.... Read full post

Apr 19, 2015, 12:01 AM EST

Equity ETFs coped with increased volatility in Q1 2015

By Tom Roseen

First quarter 2015 was marked by an increase in market volatility. The Dow Jones Industrial Average witnessed 16 triple-digit moves during the month of March — the second most of any month in history (October 2008 experienced the most). Investors were torn between the news that the European Central Bank (ECB) had finally launched its quantitative easing program — committing to buy 60 billion euros of eurozone sovereign debt each month through September 2016, with the goal of heading off deflation and propping up economic growth — and the Federal Reserve's plans to begin hiking rates, possibly as soon as June. Perhaps as impactful on investor psyche were the wild gyrations in oil, currency and stock prices, and of course the ever-present concern about conflicts in the Middle East.As a result of the Fed's ending its quantitative easing and the dollar climbing to new multiyear highs against the currencies of many U.S.... Read full post

Apr 19, 2015, 12:01 AM EST

Bond ETFs' resiliency surprises many investors

By Jeff Tjornehoj

Although this past quarter's bond market wasn't quite as hot as the market's performance in the fourth quarter of 2014, the resiliency certainly surprised many investors, given the central bank curveballs that occurred. Among the wild pitches in Q1: the Swiss central bank's decision to let the franc float after committing to a euro peg a few years ago, Canada's surprise rate cut, and more dovish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen (and other FOMC members) that extended the date for the first rate hike under the new chief.While each of those actions caught the greater bond market off guard, each of them also emboldened bond market investors willing to take a bit more risk. Long-term bond exchange-traded products (ETPs) raced to an early lead, hit a slump in February and then cruised to victory in March, finishing the quarter up 1.62% on average.... Read full post

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