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Innovative ETFs struggle to impress investors

February 15, 2018

ETF enthusiasts gathered recently in Hollywood, Florida, for the Inside ETFs conference, the industry's biggest party of the year. By many accounts it was the swankiest celebration yet. And for good reason. When Inside ETFs first convened in...

Infrastructure funds aren't yet feeling the love

February 14, 2018

President Donald J. Trump proposed a $1.5 trillion infrastructure program Monday, which may be one of the worst reasons to buy an infrastructure fund. But there are plenty of other reasons to go down that road — eventually. The infrastructure...

Franklin Templeton boosts bet against Treasuries

February 9, 2018

Michael Hasenstab has been waiting since at least 2016 for his wager on rising U.S. rates to come good. Now he's adding to the position. The Franklin Templeton bond chief, known for staking vast sums on conviction trades, has been loading up...

How advisers' favorite fund families have fared amid stock volatility

February 9, 2018

Click through to see how the largest funds of advisers’ favorite fund families have performed so far this year, through Thurs., Feb. 8. Figures include dividends and gains reinvested. Source: Morningstar Inc.

Despite January's run-up in stocks, investors headed to bonds

February 9, 2018

Investors poured a net $17.1 billion into stock funds and exchange-traded funds in January. But before you start chuckling about how people get into the stock market just before it heads south, the vast majority of fund flows last month —...

Alternative funds suddenly look a whole lot better

February 8, 2018

If ever there were a time for alternative funds to shine, it would be now. And some of them are actually doing that. The Dow Jones industrial average has been gyrating like a dozen hamsters in an exercise wheel. Thursday, the blue-chip index...

Exchange-traded notes add another layer of risk

February 7, 2018

The collapse of the VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short Term ETN (XIV) this week should prompt advisers to take a hard look at their clients' holdings of exchange-traded notes. The ETN was a bet on decreasing volatility, as measured by the...

Bill Gross fares worst among go-anywhere bond managers as stocks slide

February 7, 2018

Bill Gross was having a good 2018, until he wasn't. Mr. Gross's $2.2 billion Janus Henderson Global Unconstrained Bond Fund fell 0.83% as markets plunged Monday — its biggest drop since Dec. 30, 2016, and the worst one-day performance in Morningstar...

Financial Engines expands to small 401(k) plans with ADP partnership

February 6, 2018

Financial Engines Inc., a managed-account provider for 401(k) plans, is expanding its reach by partnering with record keeper ADP to bring its advice and investment management services down-market to small retirement plans. With $160 billion...

Stock market sell-off: Takeaways to share with clients

February 6, 2018

Those hoping that the stock market's recent tantrums will solve the active vs. passive debate will have to wait a bit longer. But advisers who touted the advantages of diversification will have lots to crow about to clients after this sell-off....

Funds that missed the January rally

February 1, 2018

The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index had a fabulous January, jumping 5.73% — the best January since 1997. Nevertheless, your clients might be wondering: Why didn’t my fund do that well or better? And the fact is, there are plenty of very...

The good and mostly bad of rising interest rates

January 31, 2018

When a racoon leaps at you from the back seat, causing you to run your new car into a bridge abutment, people will always point out how lucky you are. Hey, the bridge didn't collapse on you! Good thing you had insurance! Thank goodness the raccoon...

Jump in or jump out? Advisers hear both sides in this market

January 30, 2018

Despite the sell-off Monday and Tuesday, the stock market's strength this year (and over the previous 12 months) has been breathtaking. Advisers are being hit with two questions: Should I cash in my chips? Or should I add more to the pot? It's...

11 funds that have beaten the market's long-term average gain — in less than a month

January 30, 2018

The U.S. stock market has gained an average 10.2% a year since 1926, according to Morningstar Inc. Thanks to the market’s meteoric rise this month, however, some equity funds have already beaten that average annual gain. Whether you sell them...

Wall Street can't derail the move to lower fees

January 30, 2018

The Vanguard Group is bringing down the cost of investing and there's nothing Wall Street can do about it despite its best efforts. Some financial firms are making it more expensive — and in some cases impossible—for their clients to buy...

The mutual fund men's club needs more women

January 30, 2018

By now we know that having more women on leadership teams enhances businesses. We also know that women have qualities that make them good investors, such as their approach to risk. Why then are there still so few women money managers? The figures...

Morningstar's new investment managers of the year

January 25, 2018

Morningstar Inc. announced its U.S. fund managers of the year, an honor it has been giving active managers since 1988. Past winners include Peter Lynch, former manager of Fidelity Magellan, as well as his successor, Jeff Vinik; Dan Fuss, manager...

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...

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...

Bond investors have more to worry about than a government shutdown

January 19, 2018

Bond yields have marched higher this year, and returns from bond funds have marched lower. Will a government shutdown make things worse? Probably not, provided it's a short-term problem. A bigger worry is a rise in overseas rates, which could...

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