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As stock market soars, financial advisers batten down the hatches

July 11, 2016

As the S&P 500 Index notched another record high shortly after the stock market opened for trading Monday, financial advisers were doubling down on calls to proceed with caution. The index, which is up 5.5% from the start of the year, stands...

Trouble ahead? Stock and bond markets sending divergent signals

July 5, 2016

The bond market is screaming “halt,” while the stock market is scratching its head wondering what all the fuss is about. For financial advisers, the challenge will be to figure out whether it makes more sense to trust the bond market's signals...

Unlike other active funds, First Eagle's fund champions its passion for cash

June 29, 2016

Financial advisers are often critical of mutual funds with large cash positions, based on the argument that investors don't want to pay an active-management fee for idle cash. The flipside, however, is that in times of sudden market pullbacks...

Stocks rebound from the Brexit vote in a show of resilience that should be alarming

June 29, 2016

What does it say about the U.S. equity markets when stocks react so violently to a Brexit vote that had a 50/50 chance of happening, and then just puff right back up again three trading days later? No offense to dead cats, but this is not a...

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....

AQR's Asness, Research Affiliates' Arnott agree that a little market timing is okay

June 14, 2016

What was billed as a kind of battle royal between Cliff Asness of AQR and Rob Arnott of Research Affiliates to kickoff day two of the Morningstar conference in Chicago, somehow evolved into a wonky deep dive into how much research each had written...

Passive funds see big inflows in April

May 26, 2016

Assets in exchange-traded funds grew 1.7% in April to $2.2 trillion, but investors continue to hate stocks: April's big winners were bonds. Cerulli Associates estimates that investors poured $3.1 billion to bond ETFs in April and yanked a net...

Bond ETFs brace for a June rate hike

May 24, 2016

Interest rates are still a long way from anything that could be considered normal, but with the Fed teasing out a rate hike next month there's reason to be mindful of certain bond portfolios. You don't have to banish bond ETFs. The millennials...

DOL fiduciary rule trips up robo efforts at BlackRock, Schwab

May 16, 2016

The DOL fiduciary rule is throwing a wrench into the robo-advice efforts at BlackRock and Schwab. Some robo advisers may need to substantially change their business practices and how they operate. Jim Cramer, the TV personality known for rolling...

Bond funds get a pass in active-management debate

May 4, 2016

In the constant banter over active-versus-passive management, fixed income is often overlooked, which could be a mistake. Any quick scan of the financial advice community will typically produce a raft of blunt sentiments on the downside of actively...

Gender diversity becomes an investment strategy

May 4, 2016

Gender diversity becomes a hot ticket in the ETF space. In the wake of the March launch of the SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF (SHE), out rolls the Bloomberg Financial Services Gender Equity Index. The Bloomberg index, which is not yet...

Voting with their feet, investors show fund companies how they feel about high fees

May 3, 2016

The message is being put out loud and clear, investors want lower-cost investment products. The asset managers that get the message get the money. Big investors say the 2-and-20 hedge fund fee structure is living on borrowed time. “We already...

The active management edge is found furthest from the benchmark

April 21, 2016

The decade-long run of money moving out of actively managed mutual funds in favor of passive indexes and exchange-traded products speaks volumes about investors' palate for active management these days. Clearly, the bull market has not been...

Two types of investors are driving the stock market rally

April 20, 2016

With U.S. stocks up some 15% from their Feb. 11 low, some are wondering what's driving the market. Analysts say it's simple: many investors fear missing out, while others see no alternatives to stocks. The IMF just shaved its 2016-17 growth...

Horizon Investments' Greg Valliere bemoans election tone, economic growth

April 19, 2016

As election years go, Greg Valliere, chief global strategist for Horizon Investments, called the current one the “nastiest” and “most unserious” he has ever seen. “I've never seen anything like this in my life,” he said Monday in...

Increased SEC scrutiny may be making ETF providers uncomfortable

April 17, 2016

The Securities and Exchange Commission has its eye on the exchange-traded fund industry, and that increased scrutiny may be making ETF providers uncomfortable. The SEC is concerned about three areas: trading during exceptionally volatile periods,...

Investors poured $32 billion into bonds in March with Vanguard, BlackRock dominating

April 15, 2016

Investors poured an estimated $31.9 billion into bond funds in March, and investment advisers did much of the pouring. The inflow to bond funds was the most since January 2013, when bond funds saw a net $32.6 billion come in, says Morningstar,...

Pimco's active BOND ETF being left in the dust

April 14, 2016

Pimco's much-celebrated Total Return Active ETF (BOND) is being ignored by investors who are opting for better-positioned rival products. It wasn't supposed to be this way. The fund's first-quarter net withdrawals topped $37 million, while the...

New offering will test frozen IPO market

April 14, 2016

The financial markets are closely watching the initial public stock offering by Bats Global Markets, which is being described as the ice-breaker in an IPO market that has been virtually frozen solid this year. The stock exchange operator, which...

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