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Active TDF managers push to compete on fees

February 20, 2018

Asset managers with actively managed target-date funds are pushing to lower fees in an environment of heightened cost sensitivity. Litigation accusing employers of having high retirement-plan fees and the difficult-to-benchmark nature of TDF...

Is Fidelity competing with retirement plan advisers?

February 17, 2018

Fidelity Investments​ is the undisputed titan of the retirement marketplace. With $1.64 trillion in defined-contribution-plan assets under its belt, the Boston-based mutual fund company administers more than $1 trillion more in DC-plan assets...

In deregulated environment, Ameriprise may be moving back into retail banking

February 16, 2018

Ameriprise Financial Inc. is exploring the idea of getting back into the banking business, which could boost the firm's profitability. The brokerage and insurance giant had its own bank prior to the credit crisis but wound down that operation...

Schwab: Lower minimums, uniform pricing for funds boost flows

February 12, 2018

Charles Schwab & Co., which dropped the minimum investment on its funds and ETFs a year ago, has found that the move not only means greater flows from smaller investors, but a surprising uptick in assets from small retirement plans. Since eliminating...

Market pullback presents robo-advisers with biggest test yet

February 6, 2018

Robo-advisers underwent their biggest stress test to date Monday as the market's slide drove a surge in the volume of investors trying to access their accounts at the fledgling companies, most of which aren't yet 10 years old. The experience...

Robos with the best and worst portfolios over the last two years

February 2, 2018

BackEnd Benchmarking published the sixth edition of The Robo Report, which assesses the performance of portfolios managed by digital advisers, on Thursday. For the first time, the report includes full two-year performance return numbers of robo-advisers...

Fidelity pushes Vanguard to compete on brand in 401(k) plans

January 24, 2018

Fidelity Investments' move to impose an additional fee on Vanguard Group assets is going to test plan sponsors' loyalty to the index-fund giant, according to retirement plan advisers, as employers are forced to choose between sticking with a...

Shrinking cash balances provide latest evidence of investor euphoria

January 24, 2018

There's nothing quite like record highs in the stock market combined with historic lows in interest rates to get investors off the sidelines, and that's exactly what the major custodians are seeing these days. During Tuesday morning's earnings...

New goal for ETF providers: Help advisers

January 24, 2018

As the ETF industry celebrates its 25th anniversary, exchange-traded fund launches remain strong. But the death toll is rising steadily, and ETF sponsors are focusing more on helping advisers understand their offerings than on pushing new ones...

Betterment beefs up 401(k) advisory board with ex-Vanguard expert

January 23, 2018

Betterment is beefing up its 401(k) business' advisory board, a sign that the robo-adviser could be preparing to make a more aggressive play into the retirement plan provider market. The Betterment for Business board is adding Barbara Fallon-Walsh...

Fiduciary rule every bit as necessary for brokers, according to report

January 16, 2018

For those who think a fiduciary-type rule is unnecessary, think again. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that "advisers at some of the biggest discount brokerage firms make more money if they steer clients toward more-expensive products."...

Fintech learns to play nice with traditional institutions

January 12, 2018

Fintech is finally learning to play nice with the financial services industry. The last couple of years have seen fintech upstarts forge successful partnerships with incumbent financial institutions to better the industry from the inside out....

Tax bill SALT reduction could raise demand for munis

January 12, 2018

Residents in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut who waited in queues to pay their property taxes early and take advantage of an expiring tax deduction may be lining up in 2018 to buy municipal bonds issued in their home states. Strategists...

Bloomberg terminal alternatives popular with advisers

January 10, 2018

When YCharts debuted in 2009, the cloud-based financial portal billed itself as a potential threat to the Bloomberg Terminal's dominance over real-time market data. Bloomberg remains a powerhouse eight years later, but YCharts, and other startups...

Don't Pave the Cow Paths… Blaze your own Path

January 9, 2018

“They just keep paving the cow paths!” I first heard this phrase over a decade ago in Boston, where every day I would commute to work through twisting, potholed, impossibly crowded roads. A colleague, a Boston native, explained the legend...

Wealthfront secures $75 million in new funding

January 4, 2018

Wealthfront Inc., one of the largest independent digital wealth management startups, just closed a $75 million round of funding to help develop new products for its growing client base. The company has amassed just over $9 billion in assets...

ETF assets boom in 2017

January 3, 2018

Investors aren't the only ones happy about 2017 returns. ETF sponsors are doing a happy dance, too. Net ETF issuance jumped to an estimated $473.2 billion last year, up 67% from $282.2 billion in 2016, according to the Investment Company Institute,...

Interest in donor-advised funds surges in response to tax changes

December 20, 2017

With Congress passing the most sweeping tax law changes in a generation, the three major providers of donor-advised funds — Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., The Vanguard Group Inc. and Fidelity Charitable — report a high volume of new accounts,...

Bernie Clark and Walt Bettinger on issues facing the advisory business

December 19, 2017

One of the most popular — and always anticipated — sessions at IMPACT each year is the conversation between Bernie Clark, executive vice president and head of Schwab Advisor Services, and Walt Bettinger, president and chief executive officer...

Vanguard lags BlackRock in ETF sales

December 18, 2017

Vanguard Group is lagging BlackRock Inc. in ETF sales — but any sobbing you hear from the ETF industry probably isn't coming from the Malvern, Pa.-based behemoth. BlackRock's iShares welcomed $198.4 billion into its ETFs through November,...

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