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The presidential election fear factor puts economy at risk

September 13, 2016

What the majority of Americans fear most about the upcoming presidential election is the election itself — and that might be the scariest part of all. A new survey by Bankrate.com found that 61% of Americans believe the election's outcome...

Financial advisers navigate Federal Reserve comments and Hillary Clinton's health

September 12, 2016

Financial advisers are bracing for typical September stock market gyrations, that will likely include a few new twists related to the unorthodox presidential election. Stocks rebounded slightly on Monday, following a jarring 2.5% drop on Friday...

Time to start navigating that minefield of mutual fund capital gains

September 9, 2016

Heading into capital gains distribution season for mutual funds, there are some potential pitfalls worth noting for financial advisers. Don't assume a fund will always be tax friendly. The muni-bond lovefest continues. Investors are pouring...

Markets, financial advisers get nervous as Donald Trump closes in on Hillary Clinton

September 9, 2016

The 2016 presidential campaign is anything but ordinary, which is a big part of the reason financial advisers should not be banking on ordinary election-year stock market results. “I don't think the market is moving with any precision towards...

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...

The markets are tilting toward Hillary Clinton for president

September 1, 2016

Forget all the debates and the actual voting, because the stock market has already decided Hillary Clinton will be our next President. If the research is sound, investors might be expecting another Democrat in the White House. The not-so mind-boggling...

Advisers are bracing for a September market storm

August 31, 2016

As financial advisers prepare to relax over the Labor Day weekend break, many are also bracing for an increased focus on the kinds of market volatility that typically comes with September. With perspectives ranging from, it happens every year...

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...

Value strategies defy logic in push past growth stocks

August 24, 2016

Ten years into a bull market for growth stocks, the cycle finally appears to be turning in favor of value investing, but not for all the usual reasons. Among domestic equity mutual fund categories, small- and mid-cap value strategies stand out...

ETF providers scramble to put Aug. 24 'flash crash' in rearview mirror

August 23, 2016

If there is an upside to the Aug. 24, 2015 “flash crash” that saw volatility spike and trigger nearly 1,300 individual trading halts, it is that the asset management industry and the exchanges are now scrambling to work with regulators to...

A case for cash when stock prices are off the charts

August 22, 2016

Sometimes the best investment move is toward the sidelines, especially when stocks and bonds are both teetering near record highs. The case for cash. Former hedge funder, Steve Eisman, who is now with Neuberger Berman, says hedge fund fees are...

When outperformance puts active managers out of business

August 22, 2016

The legal jargon about past performance not being indicative of future returns might need to be tweaked to suggest that past performance could be indicative of future underperformance. New research from S&P Global Market Intelligence and S&P...

Morningstar demystifies 401(k) loans

August 19, 2016

Morningstar's Christine Benz cracks to code on those perplexing 401(k) loans. Dissecting the pros, cons and myths of borrowing from a retirement account. The Department of Justice moves to phase out the use of private prisons for federal inmates....

Fees matter most when it comes to active management performance: Morningstar

August 19, 2016

Morningstar's midyear analysis of active versus passive investing shows once again that higher fees have the biggest impact on performance. The semiannual report describes fees as “one of the only reliable predictors of success.” The research...

Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones makes a costly big short on the market

August 17, 2016

Hedge funder Paul Tudor Jones continues to double down on his big short of the U.S. stock market. He now owns puts on 8.34 million shares of SPDR S&P 500 (SPY). Meanwhile, as the stock market chugs along, seemingly defying gravity and logic,...

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