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Best- and worst-performing emerging-market funds

August 19, 2017

U.S. open-end diversified emerging-market funds TOP 10 Name Current fund-level net assets YTD return 1-year return 3-year return 5-year return Net expense ratio Ashmore Emerging Markets Value Instl (EMFIX) $10,064,105 31.19% 41.24% 3.52% 6.70%...

Best-interest contract could be casualty of DOL fiduciary rule delay

August 15, 2017

The part of the Labor Department's fiduciary rule that has heartened supporters and caused heartburn for opponents, the best-interest contract, could become a casualty of the ongoing reassessment of the rule. The DOL said last week in a court...

Robos are offering SRI, so shouldn't live advisers?

July 19, 2017

Digital financial advice platforms are racing each other to introduce socially responsible investing options for their customers, and some experts believe traditional advisers should be doing the same. Both Betterment and Wealthfront, the two...

Can Buckley run the house that Bogle built?

July 14, 2017

Tim Buckley has just been handed the keys to the house that Bogle built. But Buckley, Vanguard Group's new president, confronts something that founder Jack Bogle never did back in his prime: a world in which cheap market-tracking index funds...

A shares live on, despite some hefty upfront sales charges

July 13, 2017

Remember the days when your clients paid you upfront to buy a mutual fund? Apparently, those days aren't entirely gone. The 15 largest A share classes saw net new cash flow of $8.1 billion over the past 12 months, according to Morningstar Inc....

ESG investors like gains as much as anyone else

July 10, 2017

Social investors like funds that do good, but they love funds that do good and do well. Consider Parnassus Endeavor Investor (PARWX), up a blistering 31.0% the past 12 months, versus a 17.9% gain for the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index. The...

Will new smart-beta strategies boost target-date funds' performance?

July 8, 2017

Target-date funds are the Energizer Bunny of the mutual fund world. As the industry struggles furiously for investors' money, target-date funds slide blithely by, with billions of dollars in new money flowing in. Now they're adding a little...

Health savings accounts becoming the new IRAs

July 6, 2017

With more than $40 billion in total assets, health savings accounts are starting to add up to real money, which could represent another area of opportunity and responsibility for financial advisers. Today, only about 4% of HSA savers are moving...

Growth funds soar in first six months of 2017

July 5, 2017

With a 14.1% gain, growth funds clobbered value funds in the first half, with bargain-hunters posting only a 5.6% increase, according to Morningstar Inc. "Well-established growth companies did what you'd expect well-established growth companies...

Fidelity, American Century adopting new TDF fee tactic as cost pressures grow

July 5, 2017

Two of the largest managers of target-date-fund assets, Fidelity Investments and American Century Investments, are changing how they assess fees in the multi-asset funds, at a time of heightened cost scrutiny and as TDFs capture an increasing...

8 top performing mutual funds and ETFs for the first half of 2017, and one to avoid

June 30, 2017

The first half of 2017 is over, and it’s been a good one for investors: The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index gained 9.2%, and the MSCI Europe, Australasia and Far East (EAFE) index jumped 12.6%. Here’s a look at some of the top-performing...

Collective investment trusts getting more attention from 401(k) advisers

June 21, 2017

Mutual funds hold the lion's share of 401(k) assets, but another investment vehicle -— collective investment trusts — are quickly emerging as a contender. Indeed, among the largest 401(k) plans, or those with more than $1 billion in assets,...

Fidelity launches funds that can make RMDs for aging baby boomers

June 12, 2017

Fidelity Investments is hoping to rouse interest in an otherwise sleepy market for managed-payout funds by launching funds that can make required minimum distributions for investors, at a time when the first baby boomers have just started reaching...

DOL fiduciary rule should be improved, not scrapped

June 3, 2017

For better or worse, the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule goes into effect on Friday. Starting that day, any broker or financial adviser offering advice on retirement savings accounts must put the clients' interests first. While we support...

Popularity of index funds and ETFs driving down average costs: Morningstar

May 23, 2017

As assets continue to flow into index mutual funds, ETFs and institutional share classes, investors paid less in fund expenses in 2016 than ever before, said Morningstar, Inc., in its annual fund fee study. The asset-weighted average net expense...

Vermont poised to become latest state to set up retirement plan for small businesses

May 22, 2017

Vermont will likely become the latest state to create a retirement plan for its small businesses, in a play to boost retirement savings by increasing the number of private-sector employees covered by a workplace plan. The Vermont legislature...

Will the fiduciary rule shrink the ever-expanding world of share classes?

May 13, 2017

First there was​ little share class A. Then there were little share classes B and C. Faster than you could say, "The Cat in the Hat," there were little share classes I, N, K, F and Y. Now the fund industry is contemplating unleashing an estimated...

Auto features are helping to fuel 401(k) growth

May 12, 2017

Automation, that demon of American job security, may be the patron saint of retirement savings. The average balance in a 401(k) defined-contribution account at Fidelity Investments hit a record $95,500 in the first quarter, up more than 9% from...

Trump's tax plan could fuel rally in MLP investments

May 11, 2017

If the Trump administration's tax-reform plan gains traction, investors in master limited partnerships could be among the beneficiaries, which means financial advisers might want to start sharpening their pencils for some number crunching. President...

What's really behind the opposition to state auto-IRAs?

May 10, 2017

State auto-IRA programs were dealt a blow last week, when the Senate voted to overturn an Obama-era rule that promoted creation of these retirement plans. President Donald J. Trump is now poised to sign away the Labor Department rule. Observers...

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