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El-Erian would be safe pick for Fed Vice Chair

November 15, 2017

Forming consensus in Washington these days can be a tall task. Yet when it comes to the leadership of the U.S. Federal Reserve, it is important that we elevate pragmatism over politics. The void left by the retirement of Stanley Fischer from...

Repealing estate tax could open new path to wealth for clients

November 14, 2017

As House and Senate Republicans pursue competing tax overhaul plans, financial advisers should be aware that one big disagreement is the estate tax. House Republicans want to repeal it in 2024 while their Senate colleagues want to preserve it....

GE shows what can go wrong with dividend strategy

November 14, 2017

General Electric's decision to slash its dividend in half is a sharp reminder to investors that dividends aren't forever — and that the income from funds and ETFs can come at a high price. In the long run, dividends produce a third to a half...

Mohamed El-Erian in race for Fed Vice Chair: CNBC

November 14, 2017

The White House is considering bond guru Mohamed El-Erian for the vice chairmanship of the Federal Reserve, according to a report by CNBC. Currently chief economic adviser at Allianz and former CEO of its fixed-income powerhouse Pimco, Mr. El-Erian...

Trump picks Jerome Powell to lead Federal Reserve at a tricky time

November 2, 2017

Jerome Powell, said to be President Donald Trump's pick to be the next Federal Reserve chairman, is set to take the reins of the world's most important central bank when the U.S. economy is rolling along at a pace he'll be under pressure to...

The history of bonds — at least since yields hit record lows last year

November 1, 2017

History, as Kurt Vonnegut reminded us, is merely a list of surprises. The next world war will certainly not start with the assassination of an Austro-Hungarian archduke. You're probably not going to make a fortune peddling pet rocks. On the...

Bond allocations: Be real, patient and flexible

October 30, 2017

Bond yields hit their year-to-date lows in early September with the 10-year Treasury yield getting as low as 2.03%. Low yields in the Treasury market are accompanied with historically expensive corporate and municipal bonds. Investors faced...

Prepare clients for the terror of falling markets

October 30, 2017

It's witching season and while our costumed children invade our neighborhoods for candies and treats, almost no-one considers the "trick" part of the equation anymore. It's much the same way for investors today; it's been nothing but treats...

Rushed tax reform would cause more harm than a delay

October 21, 2017

Time is running out for Congress to propose and pass a well-thought-out tax​ reform bill that includes a tax cut, and that's not a bad thing. The House of Representatives is scheduled to adjourn for the year on Dec. 15 and the Senate on Dec....

Searing lessons from the crash of 1987

October 10, 2017

You may know intellectually that playing video games in the swimming pool is a bad idea, but if you actually experience it, you'll learn a lesson you won't quickly forget. Nearly thirty years ago, on Oct. 19, 1987, investors and advisers learned...

Fed to start shrinking portfolio in October

September 20, 2017

Federal Reserve officials set an October start for shrinking their $4.5 trillion stockpile of assets, moving to unwind a pillar of their crisis-era support for the economy. They continued to forecast one more interest-rate hike later this year,...

Fed's two-day meeting to conclude with decision on interest-rate hike

September 20, 2017

Will the Federal Reserve raise interest rates again this year? That's the big question investors are hoping policy makers clarify when they conclude a two-day meeting Wednesday. Fed officials are widely expected to leave rates unchanged as they...

Why inflation and interest rates could remain low for a very long time

September 19, 2017

Stephen Smith, co-lead portfolio manager of global fixed income at Brandywine Global, and John Bellows, portfolio manager and research analyst at Western Asset Management, discuss what the outlook for monetary policy means for investors.

With yields low and interest rates headed up, what kind of bonds do advisers buy? ​

September 19, 2017

The ancient Etruscans believed you could tell the future by examining sheep livers, a practice called haruspicy. This was known as the wisdom of the ancients. Nevertheless, haruspicy probably had a better record of predicting interest rates...

Major events set stormy tone for financial markets in September

September 5, 2017

Welcome to the cruelest month for U.S. equities. The S&P 500 Index limps into September after stalling amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula and historic flooding in Texas. Those broke a stretch of calm that'll be hard to replicate...

America's jobs engine keeps defying forecasts for 2017 slowdown

August 31, 2017

In an economy growing at a moderate pace at best, the U.S. job market keeps on shining. Payroll gains topped forecasts in five of the past seven months, putting the 2017 average increase of 184,000 almost on par with last year's 187,000 and...

Wells Fargo increases fake-account estimate 67% to 3.5 million

August 31, 2017

Wells Fargo & Co. said employees created two-thirds more bogus accounts than initially thought, a sign the bank is still struggling to move past a scandal that sparked record fines and congressional investigations. An outside review found an...

BlackRock finds steep risk in U.S. investment portfolios

August 29, 2017

Insurers got burned badly in the 2008 financial crisis. So almost a decade later, BlackRock Inc. scoured the industry's $5 trillion in U.S. investments to figure out how they would fare if markets crash so hard again. The answer: Worse. The...

Hurricanes could be one reason September is such a stinker for stocks

August 28, 2017

September remains the worst month for stock performance — and hurricane season could have something to do with that. Equities in the ninth month have fallen an average of 0.7% since 1945, according to CFRA. It's the third most volatile month,...

Economists predict long-term effects of Harvey will remain local

August 28, 2017

Tropical Storm Harvey will come with major economic consequences for an area critical to U.S. energy production that will be painful, costly and lasting, but the damage is unlikely to reverberate across the country, economists said. Harvey has...

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