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Adviser or advisor? The debate rages on

March 19, 2017

In the annals of financial advice, few questions have divided folks more than whether someone who offers professional financial advice is an "adviser" or "advisor." Trite as it might seem, the debate lives on, possibly because the correct answer...

Plan sponsors want help with DOL fiduciary duties

March 19, 2017

Plan sponsors worry about participants suing over inferior investment choices or high fees. At the same time, they're anxious about the Labor Department or Internal Revenue Service finding fault with their plan design or processes. They want...

Merrill Lynch outlines plans for its 401(k) fiduciary platform

March 15, 2017

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management outlined plans Wednesday to transition its defined-contribution-plan business over to a fiduciary model, coming several months after the firm announced similar plans for its retail retirement business and as the...

Fidelity, Empower and T. Rowe take three different approaches to the DOL fiduciary rule

March 7, 2017

The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule is leading record keepers of 401(k) plans to adopt wildly divergent compliance strategies. Take Fidelity Investments, Empower Retirement and T. Rowe Price, three of the largest defined-contribution-plan...

Bill Gross' Pimco successor, Dan Ivascyn, is on a hot streak

March 3, 2017

After star money manager Bill Gross left in 2014, Pacific Investment Management Co. seemed destined to fade from prominence and become just one of the many firms that dot the U.S. bond-industry landscape. But then Dan Ivascyn, the man tapped...

RIAs embrace the tough-love feedback of advisory boards

February 28, 2017

It takes a thick skin to invite outsiders to rigorously critique your financial planning business, but some financial advisers wouldn't have it any other way. "I show them my business plan, and I usually get beat up pretty good, but it has helped...

Fidelity cuts commissions for online stock and ETF trades by nearly 40%

February 28, 2017

Fidelity Investments is lowering online commissions for trading in U.S. stock and exchange-traded funds by nearly 40 percent, to $4.95 from $7.95 a trade, for individual investors. The nation's largest online retail brokerage firm, with 17.9...

What Fed rate hikes mean for retirees

February 24, 2017

With the Federal Reserve widely expected to hike interest rates in March for the first of what could be four hikes this year, financial advisers will finally have some good news for their retired clients. As rates slowly move higher, the safest...

Beware the gap coming in the number of financial advice professionals

February 22, 2017

With the average financial adviser now 51 years old, and as the baby boom generation grinds toward retirement, it's only natural to fret over a potential dearth of fresh faces to fill the advice ranks. From a big-picture perspective, David Canter,...

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...

New York Life settles 401(k) lawsuit for $3 million

February 16, 2017

New York Life Insurance Co. has agreed to settle a lawsuit alleging the firm engaged in self-dealing in its 401(k) plans for the sum of $3 million. Plaintiffs brought the excessive-fee suit against New York Life in July 2016, seeking relief...

Families at odds over estates, Fidelity study finds

February 1, 2017

When it comes to discussing their estates, it turns out that parents and their adult children are rarely on the same page, according to a recent study by Fidelity Investments. Although 90% of families say it's important to have frank conversations...

Aon Hewitt sued for 401(k) 'kickback' scheme with Financial Engines

January 31, 2017

Aon Hewitt is the latest retirement-plan record keeper to be sued for an alleged kickback scheme with 401(k) advice provider Financial Engines, following similar lawsuits filed recently against three other prominent record keepers. A participant...

The Trump Effect: How the president will impact financial markets

January 29, 2017

When Donald Trump talks — or tweets — the public pays attention. When he takes a certain company or industry to task, investors listen and markets react. Although before the election Mr. Trump said he thought the stock market was in a “big,...

Fidelity's Bob Oros to take over as CEO of HD Vest

January 23, 2017

Bob Oros, executive vice president and head of the RIA segment at Fidelity Investments, is taking over as CEO of HD Vest Financial Services Inc. Mr. Oros, 51, who is slated to leave Fidelity at the end of the month, will replace Roger Ochs,...

Clients getting divorced may encounter hidden 401(k) fees

January 23, 2017

A profit center. A silent fee. One more kick in the pants. Those are a few of the ways divorce lawyers describe the fee that many 401(k) plan participants have to pay when they need to divide a retirement account in a divorce. As more wealth...

Ron Carson reveals friction with LPL led to move to Cetera

January 22, 2017

In his first interview after officially moving his firm to Cetera Financial Group last week, Ron Carson acknowledged there was friction between him and his old broker-dealer, LPL Financial, and said he ultimately lost faith in the ability of...

Bob Oros leaving Fidelity

January 13, 2017

Bob Oros, executive vice president and head of the RIA segment at Fidelity Investments, is leaving the company at the end of the month to pursue a “unique new personal challenge,” according to a company spokeswoman. Mr. Oros, 51, announced...

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...

Large record keepers Fidelity, John Hancock and others expanding fiduciary duties

January 9, 2017

Several large record keepers are expanding their fiduciary duties by providing more advice to defined contribution clients in response to the Department of Labor's conflict-of-interest rule that is slated to take effect in April. They are willing...

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