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Advisers OK with David Booth stepping down as co-CEO of Dimensional Fund Advisors

February 23, 2017

Advisers took the announcement in stride Thursday that David Booth, founder of Dimensional Fund Advisors, was leaving his post as co-CEO of the firm. DFA, the $460 billion fund powerhouse, has made David Butler co-CEO alongside Eduardo Repetto....

Investors to U.S. stock funds: Drop dead

February 16, 2017

The Standard & Poor's 500 roared to a 1.98% gain in January, and investors yawned. The first winning January since 2013 should have cheered investors: A winning January agurs an up year 80% of the time. Yet U.S. stock funds saw a net inflow...

Misclassified fund draws huge assets, then falters

February 16, 2017

The Catalyst Hedged Futures Strategy Fund (HFXIX) was up 6.2% last year, head and shoulders above the average managed futures fund, which fell 2.8%. Performance like that caught investors' eyes. The fund's assets soared from $1.2 billion in...

At Vanguard, customer complaints rise along with assets

February 16, 2017

As assets at Vanguard have soared, customer complaints have risen, too — something the fund behemoth is taking steps to fix, in part by hiring 1,700 new employees this year. Customers flooded Vanguard funds with $323 billion in new money last...

Funds with revenue-sharing fees can be cheapest option in 401(k) plans

February 14, 2017

The use of mutual funds with revenue-sharing fees in retirement plans has come under fire due to a push toward 401(k) fee transparency and an increase in excessive-fee litigation, which often attacks the practice due to cost concerns. But revenue-sharing...

Putnam merges, liquidates 10 funds

February 9, 2017

Putnam Investments is sending 10 of its funds to the dustbin of history. The Boston-based fund company will liquidate four funds: Strategic Volatility Equity Fund (PSVEX), Asia Pacific Equity Fund (PAPAX), Retirement Income Fund Lifestyle 2...

Morningstar announces top fund managers

January 26, 2017

David Herro was named international stock fund manager of the year by Morningstar Inc., the third time he has earned that distinction. Mr. Herro, who runs Oakmark International (OAKIX), was one of several fund managers to earn awards from Morningstar....

BlackRock's Laurence Fink watching how companies react to global upheaval

January 24, 2017

Laurence Fink, CEO of BlackRock Inc., said in a time of global upheaval — from Brexit to the election of Donald Trump — it's imperative that companies constantly assess their strategy and adapt to changing markets. In his annual letter to...

Smart beta could give funds an entry into ETF market

January 24, 2017

More than 2,200 people met at the Inside ETFs conference in Hollywood, Fla., this week, and it was all about product — smart beta product, specifically. The record attendance follows record flows to ETFs in 2016, with more than $280 billion...

Fred Alger Management scoops up Boston-based asset manager

January 18, 2017

Alger Associates, the parent company of Fred Alger Management, is acquiring Weatherbie Capital, a Boston-based registered investment adviser with $800 million under management. The deal, expected to close in March, represents Alger's first acquisition...

Even top notch firms feel sting from fickle investors

January 12, 2017

William Nygren has succeeded at a difficult task: picking stocks to deliver market-beating returns over long stretches of time. Both his $16.5 billion Oakmark Fund and his $5.6 billion Oakmark Select Fund have topped the S&P 500 by an annual...

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...

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...

Calamos Asset Management to be taken private by its owner

December 19, 2016

Calamos Asset Management, one of the biggest money managers in Illinois, has agreed to be taken private by its longtime owner, founder and chairman, John Calamos, and its CEO, John Koudounis. The Naperville-based company, which manages money...

Target-date fund managers evolve to capture burgeoning 401(k) market

December 5, 2016

For providers of target-date funds, it's no longer enough to be a one-trick pony. Over the last several years, TDF managers have engaged in a marketing bonanza of new products to stand out in an increasingly competitive — and lucrative —...

Will product pricing pressures carry over to advisory fees?

November 30, 2016

As low-cost index funds and ETFs continue to take market share from higher-cost actively managed funds, financial advisers could soon find themselves caught up in the downward pressure on fees. Emily Sweet, senior analyst at Cerulli Associates,...

Jack Bogle looks back on the 40th anniversary of the index fund

November 28, 2016

John “Jack” Bogle wrote his Princeton senior thesis in 1951, arguing that mutual funds “may make no claim to superiority over the market averages.” Sixty-five years later, the Vanguard founder is still being forced to defend his argument...

Alternative strategies fight index investors while longing for a 'black swan' event

November 17, 2016

Ever since the 2008 financial crisis, when virtually every asset class morphed toward a suddenly singular correlation of declines, the case for diversifying into alternative investments has sounded logical. But, also ever since the financial...

Handful of mutual funds set up for big capital gains distributions

November 4, 2016

So far, 2016 doesn't look like a year in which investors will be hit hard with mutual fund capital gains distributions. But there are some noteworthy standouts. A “handful of doozies.” The official word from Wells Fargo is that the SEC is...

Morningstar cuts index benchmarking fees to zero

November 3, 2016

Morningstar Inc. is backing into the investment products price war by offering free access to more than 100 global equity indexes through the launch of its Open Indexes Project. This means asset managers, advisers and financial services firms...

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