Results for "Fiduciary Corner"

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Other nations do a better job of managing wealth

May 15, 2006

A nation's wealth should be handled as if it were a finite resource - as finite a resource as a nation's air, water and any other natural resource. Unfortunately, most developed countries treat their wealth as if it were inexhaustible. With...

Battle over broker rule heightened by SEC guidance

April 24, 2006

The financial services industry is in the midst of a major battle, and the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a Pandora's box. Thanks to the SEC, history is in replay mode, and the consumer again is at the bottom of the pile. On April...

Adviser commitment should meet investor expectations

February 27, 2006

Regulators have the authority, responsibility and public mandate to rid the industry of bad players and practices. The question is: What have they done to fix the problems that plague the investment advisory industry? The answer: not enough....

Insurance can negate the nefarious effect of lawsuits

February 21, 2006

The scandals that have rocked the financial services industry have raised awareness among investors of the potential for conflicts of interest, misrepresentations and other alleged wrongdoings by investment advisers, brokers and money managers....

How to define, or recognize, fiduciary excellence

January 9, 2006

When the Foundation for Fiduciary Studies began to formally define investment fiduciary practices five years ago, an environmental engineer suggested we develop our practices following the global standardization procedures defined by the Geneva-based...

Watching out for the bling bling

October 17, 2005

Eighteen years ago, when I first started in the investment consulting industry, I received an important bit of advice from colleagues: Beware of the Mr. T starter kits. Of course, they were referring to the actor's manner of dress in the television...

Katrina has some lessons for the investment industry

October 10, 2005

The tragic images of Katrina have driven home a number of lessons, many of which are applicable to the investment industry. Don't ignore a fractured infrastructure. Everyone knew the levees eventually would fail - everyone. Resources earmarked...

The missing fiduciary standard: Full disclosure of risk

September 26, 2005

While the spotlight of fiduciary standards is focused on investment activity and asset management, only a small number of advisers are connecting the dots to challenge some compromising standards. Debate seems to be so narrowly focused as to...

Examining the hard facts about those soft dollars

September 19, 2005

A common theme in the enforcement actions of the past two years has been the abuse of "soft dollars" by money managers and mutual fund groups, as well as broker-dealers, investment consultants, trustees and politicians. Soft dollars are prone...

The eleemosynary fiduciary's standard of care

September 12, 2005

"Eleemosynary" is one of those clubby words - if you don't know what it means, you're probably not a member. It is an adjective that describes a charitable entity, as in a reference to a foundation or endowment. Welcome to the club! However,...

ETFs and fiduciary best practices: A good fit

August 22, 2005

The rapid growth in the use of the exchange traded fund by investment advisers and fiduciaries may be tied to its appeal in facilitating a prudent investment process. In many respects, the index fund features of ETFs simplify the task of meeting...

Monitoring investment strategy: Beyond performance

August 8, 2005

Once a client's optimal portfolio has been designed and implemented, the final critical step is the monitoring of the investment process. Monitoring should extend beyond a strict examination of investment performance. By definition, it involves...

Knowing how to do due diligence is crucial

July 25, 2005

One of the more important responsibilities of the fiduciary is the development of a due diligence process. Besides the prudence of such conduct, it also makes good sense. When money managers or funds are selected without a process, there are...

Accepting a boondoggle can trip up a fiduciary

July 18, 2005

Second of two parts. Any activity that is a prohibited party-in-interest conflict frequently offered by money managers under the guise of due diligence is referred to in common parlance as "the boondoggle." Consider the money manager who has...

ERISA standards apply outside ERISA cases

June 13, 2005

While Employee Retirement Investment Security Act regulations set the standard for prohibited transactions, those fiduciary principles apply across the realm of investment management, as applied in state courts, under the Uniform Prudent Investor...

Wrap accounts raise tricky questions

May 23, 2005

One of the more popular investment products of the past 20 years has been wrap fee accounts. There are a number of interesting fiduciary questions associated with these products. Who is a fiduciary in a wrap account? There are at least three...

Do what you do best, and delegate the rest

May 9, 2005

Investment returns and risks are determined largely by asset allocation decisions. But what begins as strategy must be translated into reality through implementation. Fiduciary legislation doesn't expressly require the use of professional money...

An investment policy statement, done right, is vital

April 18, 2005

The preparation and maintenance of an investment policy statement is one of the most important functions performed by an investment fiduciary. Yet with many lawyers, it remains one of the most contentious investment fiduciary practices. Based...

Asset allocation is as much an art as a science

April 11, 2005

Whether asset allocation is of overwhelming importance or only the most important decision managed by a fiduciary is a minor distinction. It's the fiduciary's duty to diversify a client's portfolio prudently to a defined risk/return profile...

Are 401(k)s headed for a fiduciary meltdown?

April 4, 2005

Employee-benefit-plan sponsors, especially those in the 401(k) area, have had some problems in fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility, given all the regulatory attention of the past two years. Leading authorities characterize the problems...

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