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Schwab cuts ETF fees again, as expense war with rivals BlackRock, Fidelity and Vanguard heats up

October 7, 2016

Charles Schwab & Co. (SCHW) re-entered the ETF fee war Friday, announcing fee cuts to five of its exchange-traded funds. While the expense cuts were modest — one basis point, or 1/100th of a percentage point — the move underscores the fierce...

The race for lower fees shines a light on smart beta

October 6, 2016

As BlackRock Inc. throws down the gauntlet with some sweeping price cuts across its exchange-traded funds lineup, it's only logical to assume the increasingly popular smart beta strategies will be next in line to feel the spreading pressure...

Deutsche Bank turmoil exposes ETN counter-party risk

October 4, 2016

Nearly two dozen exchange-traded notes have come into Deutsche Bank's troubled shadow. Counterparty risk assessments. Projecting the next move for stocks. Going down to go up. Dissecting the dividend-payer buzz. Is dividend payment mandatory?...

Janus Capital agrees to merge with London's Henderson Global

October 3, 2016

Janus Capital Group Inc. has announced an all-stock merger with London's Henderson Group Plc, creating a global active management complex with $320 billion under management. The combined market capitalization will be approximately $6 billion....

Advisers weigh pros and cons of Janus-Henderson merger

October 3, 2016

The announced merger between Janus Capital Group Inc. and London's Henderson Group is getting mostly good reviews from the industry, including the financial markets. In mid-day trading Monday, the day the all-stock deal was announced, Janus...

Testing the limits of ETF tax efficiency

September 28, 2016

Investors in exchange-traded funds don't normally have to fret about tax bills, because tax efficiency is one of the main sales pitches right along with transparency, liquidity and lower fees. But thanks to recent adjustments in certain indexes...

DOL fiduciary rule expected to put new pressure on mutual fund expenses

September 23, 2016

The ripple effects of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule is expected to put new pressure on mutual fund fees, and could even lead to fewer fund share classes, according to a report from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The DOL rule, which...

Smart beta complexity is hurting investors

September 19, 2016

The biggest risk of smart-beta investing might be that the strategies are becoming too complex for their own good. Timing smart-beta investing. The SEC's fuzzy rules on dodgy accounting violations. From a slap on the wrist to jail time. Does...

Old school fund companies Goldman, JPMorgan wade deeper into ETF market

September 16, 2016

Old-line asset management shops are continuing to wade deeper into the ETF market, seemingly embracing the notion that 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.' Over the past few weeks, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, JPMorgan Asset Management, and...

Investors pile in as REITs move closer to S&P 500 sector status

September 15, 2016

The establishment of real estate as an eleventh sector of the S&P 500 Index is morphing into a near-term investment strategy, according to some market watchers. The real estate play, ahead of REITs' elevation to sector status on Friday, is seen...

The gloves come off in the legal fight between Pimco and Bill Gross

September 15, 2016

Things are getting ugly in the court battle between Pimco and Bill Gross. The latest claim is the that renowned Bond King may have destroyed documents relevant to the lawsuit. “The only party trying to play 'hide the ball' is Pimco.” Meb...

Morningstar to help advisers compare ETFs to mutual funds

September 8, 2016

Morningstar Inc. is embracing the model used by more financial advisers by combing exchange-traded funds and open-end mutual funds into the same peer groups when calculating fund ratings. The financial-data tracking firm also announced Thursday...

Financial-sector ETFs bet on a possible interest-rate hike pays off

September 7, 2016

With the most recent employment report coming in weaker-than-expected, the odds of an interest-rate hike in September have dropped into “unlikely” territory. But don't tell that to investors in financial-sector exchanged-traded funds. Similar...

Investors gobbled up risk assets in August

September 2, 2016

Investors showed a voracious appetite for risk in August. Last month's net flows into U.S.-listed ETFs topped $28 billion. The Fed's next big idea: Renaming zero interest rates as moderately low. That should do the trick. A genuine conundrum...

Are junk bonds becoming the new equities?

September 1, 2016

It's a well-known reality that high-yield bonds are generally more correlated to equities than they are to higher-quality bonds, but is it possible to actually substitute junk bonds for stocks? That argument is being made on a selective basis...

Bond bubble? CFAs say yes

August 29, 2016

Are we in a bond market bubble? Apparently, 30% of CFAs think so. But only 3% say that applies to high-grade corporate bonds. Third-quarter GDP growth should be just below 1%, according to Markit's chief economist. And that's somewhere between...

Blaming the 401(k) for lack of retirement savings

August 26, 2016

The case for how 401(k) plans have put retirement income further out of reach for some Americans. Pensions used to work, then pensions went away. The typical 401(k) is anything but automatic. Don't make the mistake of overlooking U.S. oil production...

Presidential candidates should focus on ETFs in 401(k) plans

August 25, 2016

It's time to push the conversation about including ETFs in 401(k) plans. If costs really matter — and they do — how can anyone overlook ETFs? The ETF as a political weapon. Active management might cost more and generally perform worse than...

The risky but necessary bet on dividends for income

August 25, 2016

Dividend-yielding stocks have been praised as a replacement for bond income ever since the Fed started standing with both feet on interest rates, but that doesn't make the strategy an automatic home run for every client. When it comes to portfolio...

BlackRock chops 10 ETFs with solid returns but limited investor appeal

August 24, 2016

BlackRock must have some pretty high standards. The asset management giant is sending iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Latin America ETF (EEML) to the scrap heap despite a gain of more than 30% this year. The investors are just not that into these...

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