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SEC fines WFG Advisors $100,000 for overcharging clients in alternative investments

June 29, 2016

WFG Advisors, the registered investment advisory arm of Williams Finance Group, will pay a $100,000 penalty for overcharging clients, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. From January 2011 through August 2013 the firm overcharged...

Carlyle Group, KKR and other private equity firms target individual investors with interval funds

June 23, 2016

The powerful appeal of private equity investments has helped some of the biggest names in the space quietly move down market with products aimed specifically at individual investors, which presents some new challenges and opportunities for financial...

Bond bears licking their wounds as stock funds lag amid low-interest rates

June 21, 2016

For those expecting the great bond meltdown, 2016 has been a really rotten year. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note has dropped from 2.27% on December 31, 2015 to 1.68% Monday. Bond prices rise when interest rates fall, meaning that this...

Layoffs hit Pimco, GMO as assets shrink amid flight from active management

June 17, 2016

Layoffs have been scarce in the mutual fund industry, but they have hit two complexes recently: GMO and Pimco, which are suffering from declining assets as investors flee active management in favor of passive strategies. Boston-based Grantham,...

The ETF liquidity mirage

June 15, 2016

“Wall Street Turns to ETFs to Sidestep Illiquidity in Bond Market” ran a recent Bloomberg headline. Because the ability to trade individual bonds is degrading, the story reported, investors are piling record dollars into global bond ETFs....

The real reason Trump won't reveal his tax returns

June 7, 2016

The real reason The Donald won't reveal his tax returns might surprise you. It comes down to two words: Real estate. Janet Yellen says the Fed will eventually raise rates, but that's all you get at this point. Confused yet? Four ways to not...

The ultimate alternative investment: Really expensive watches

June 6, 2016

Instead of timing the market, how about investing in time? Watches, that is. “People are seeking trophies.” Don't just assume your value fund is providing any real value. Being mindful of the smoke and mirrors. JPMorgan catches up with the...

A tale of two Chinas: one old, one new

June 5, 2016

To the casual observer, headlines about China over the past year suggest doom and gloom. Those who take a deeper look, however, will find a divergent storyline comes to light: China's economy is moving in two different directions. Earnings releases...

How a Brexit will hit U.S. stocks

June 2, 2016

If the U.K. pulls the trigger on its departure from the European Union, the fallout could hit certain U.S. stocks that you might already own, or maybe should own. Stay nimble. A couple dozen stateside companies with substantial sales in Britain...

Stock sellers got burned in May but volatility set to return in June

June 1, 2016

If you sold in May, you went away too early. The Standard and Poor's 500 stock index rolled to a 1.53% gain in May, and 1.80% with dividends reinvested. For the three months ended May, the blue-chip index is up 8.53%, or 9.12% with dividends....

How stocks' performance can help predict the presidential election

May 31, 2016

Paying attention to how stocks trend between August and November could be a giveaway for which party's candidate will be elected president. When voters decide between the incumbent party and the challenger, it often comes back to: "It's the...

Steven Cohen wants a minor league system for portfolio managers

May 25, 2016

Hedge funder Steven Cohen is building a minor league of portfolio managers by recruiting college sophomores. Reducing the time it takes a college grad to become a portfolio manager. If you make less money, do you have to take more risks with...

Marijuana startup MassRoots' plans to join Nasdaq go up in smoke

May 24, 2016

MassRoots, an online social network for marijuana fans, experienced a massive downer Monday when the NASDAQ exchange denied its listing request based on the fact cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. According to a statement from MassRoots,...

Why gold makes sense for investors

May 22, 2016

The price of gold rose more in the first quarter of 2016 than during any quarter since the third quarter of 1986. As a result, should advisers be educating their clients about including this rather unique commodity as part of their investing...

The perils of investment crowdfunding

May 22, 2016

The Securities and Exchange Commission's crowdfunding regulations went into effect last week, which means financial advisers have another reason to pay close attention to this fast-evolving and largely misunderstood space. To begin with, we're...

Returns are big, but the jury is still out on lawsuit investing

May 20, 2016

Heads up, financial advisers, because some of the latest performance from a fledgling investment category known as litigation finance could start catching the attention of your clients. The idea of investing capital to help finance a lawsuit...

George Soros bets against the S&P

May 18, 2016

George Soros is betting big on an S&P implosion. The billionaire hedge funder is shorting stocks and buying gold. The sudden spike in the price of oil has fallen right in line with what veteran oilman T. Boone Pickens believes: That the price...

High-frequency trading has made the stock market better for investors

May 13, 2016

If you're happy with the stock market, you can thank the existence of high-frequency trading. Creating the best market ever for individual investors. The appetite for gold is swelling once again. The ETF inflows are huge. A note for your empty-nester...

Hillary Clinton's hedge fund ties get trimmed by one

May 12, 2016

More proof that times are tough all over. Hillary Clinton's son-in-law is shutting down one of his hedge funds after losing 48% last year in a Greece-focused strategy. Whatever remains of the $25 million raised will be returned to investors....

REITs to get own classification on major indices

May 10, 2016

Coming this August, major market indices will give REITs their own classification called "real estate." REITs currently are bundled inside of “financials." There's a growing consensus that pursuing a CFA instead of an MBA makes more economic...

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