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Will Trump's tweets continue to move markets — and is that a good thing?

January 12, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump proved he can move markets, but how persistent the Trump effect will be remains to be seen. Mr. Trump said at his press conference Wednesday that pharmaceutical companies were “getting away with murder” on drug...

Smart-beta strategies hot with stocks, not with bonds

January 11, 2017

The rise in smart-beta stock funds has begged the question: Why not smart-beta bond funds? The answer may be that fundamental differences in the bond market may make smart-beta bond funds much more difficult to execute. Smart beta is the buzzword...

Brace for thousands of new DOL fiduciary-friendly mutual fund share classes

January 6, 2017

Expect a barrage of new, DOL fiduciary-friendly T share classes from the mutual fund industry this year, according to Morningstar. The Chicago-based investment tracker says that as many as 3,800 new share classes — about as many as there are...

The long and short of long-short funds

January 5, 2017

When you board an airplane, the one thing you don't want is a wide range of outcomes. If you're headed to Fort Lauderdale, you'd probably prefer not to land in Vladivostok. A trip that's supposed to end in New York City shouldn't end in Altoona....

Smart-beta returns track their Morningstar categories

January 5, 2017

Your fund may have the smartest beta around, but your returns are still ultimately going to stem from the fund's primary investment playground. Smart beta funds are index funds that use a set of rules to modify performance, preferably for the...

Here's why your clients probably didn't beat the S&P 500 in 2016

January 3, 2017

Your clients had a great year in the stock market. But their first question might be, “Why didn't we get as much as the S&P 500?” The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index gained 11.96% with dividends reinvested in 2016, despite a rough start:...

Alternative energy funds have dim prospects under a Trump presidency

December 27, 2016

One thing you can learn from the Trump presidential victory: Making bets on the fallout is anything but certain. For example, President-elect Donald Trump has promised to bring back coal. Investors don't believe it. VanEck Vectors Coal ETF (KOL),...

Dan Ivascyn, Bill Gross' successor at Pimco, not as flamboyant as the old bond king, but he has produced results

December 27, 2016

The old bond king's pomp no longer fits the circumstance. The dethroned monarch, of course, is Bill Gross, the Pimco money manager known for his flamboyant public appearances, investor letters with paeans to his cat, sweeping market calls and...

Outlook for 2017: Strategists from Vanguard, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, Ameriprise, BlackRock and others weigh in

December 20, 2016

Economists make predictions because people ask them to, and the same holds true for market strategists. Here's a roundup of predictions for 2017 from major fund companies and brokerages. VANGUARD: JOE DAVIS, CHIEF GLOBAL ECONOMIST, AND TEAM...

Research Affiliates' Rob Arnott: 3 reasons you should throw your hat into the emerging-markets' ring

December 19, 2016

Research Affiliates' CEO, Rob Arnott, thinks emerging markets are a hat trick: An unusual three-way combination of low valuations, depressed currencies and strong momentum. Mr. Arnott first made his recommendation for emerging markets back in...

Managed futures funds gaining traction among advisers

December 16, 2016

Investment advisers plan to increase their allocation to managed futures in 2017, according to a survey taken by Altegris Advisers at the InvestmentNews Alternatives Conference in Miami last month. The survey is based on responses from 101 conference...

Advisers may not feel it yet, but downward fee pressure is coming

December 15, 2016

Financial advisers might not feel the increased pressure on fees this year, or next, but it is coming, according to the 2016 Fidelity RIA Benchmarking study. Factoring in the increased pressure from realities such as the rapid growth of low-cost...

Looking for consistent top performance? Most active funds don't have it

December 15, 2016

If the fund industry was hoping for breakout performance from actively managed funds, its hopes were once again dashed by S&P Dow Jones Indexes. “It's the persistence of nonpersistence,” said Aye M. Soe, Senior Director, Global Research...

How to keep clients from going wild when the Dow hits 20,000

December 14, 2016

As the Dow Jones Industrial Average closes in on 20,000, analysts are talking about animal spirits — specifically, bullish ones — returning to Wall Street. Are your clients clamoring to charge into the market? What do you tell them? First,...

Michael Durbin gets to work building out Fidelity's distribution channels to advisers

December 14, 2016

In the quietly aggressive ground game of custody and clearing services, Fidelity Investments has turned to Michael Durbin to lead its next charge. By most measures, he appears well-suited for the job as head of Fidelity Institutional Product,...

Will the Fed's steps lead to a stumble?

December 13, 2016

Unless everyone in the universe is wrong — which has been known to happen — the Federal Reserve will nudge up short-term interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point Wednesday. Is it time to worry that rising rates will hurt the stock...

Take 5: Knut Rostad on the DOL fiduciary rule, advisory fees, and his hope for a debate with Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci

December 12, 2016

Knut Rostad, founder and president of the Institute for Fiduciary Standard, doesn't pull punches and seemingly doesn't play favorites. A vocal supporter of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, Mr. Rostad believes registered investment advisers...

Vanguard's market share keeps growing

December 12, 2016

The Vanguard Group now has one in every five dollars in the $16 trillion mutual fund industry, according to Morningstar. Vanguard, which has nearly $3 trillion in U.S. mutual fund assets, is riding the wave of passive investing, which shows...

Who needs ETFs? Nobody, study says

December 9, 2016

An academic study of ETF users in Germany asks the question, "Who needs ETFs?" The answer: "Nobody." “We find that individuals investing in passive exchange-traded funds (ETFs) do not improve their portfolio performance, even before transaction...

Muni funds take on water as rates rise

December 5, 2016

Municipal bond funds are starting to sink as interest rates rise. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note has soared from a low of 1.37% July 8 to 2.40% Monday, sending bond prices plummeting. Municipal bond funds, whose interest is...

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