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Some active target-date fund managers shine as passive management continues 401(k) onslaught

March 16, 2017

While passive management continued its steady climb in the target-date fund market, a few asset managers with actively-managed TDFs managed to outshine their indexing counterparts in 2016. Target-date fund assets held by passive managers, led...

SEC enforcement unit bracing for budget cuts under Trump

March 6, 2017

When Wall Street bond dealmakers congregated in Las Vegas last week for their annual get-together, one group of folks was conspicuously absent: SEC enforcement officials. For years now, they've been crashing the marquee event, trying to, somewhat...

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...

Vanguard cuts expense ratios — again

February 24, 2017

The Vanguard Group cut fees on 68 mutual fund and ETF shares Friday, as industry watchers wonder: How low can expenses go? The recent round of expense cuts marks the third time in three months that Vanguard has cut fees. The move has saved investors...

Robo-advisers and human advisers adopt each others' biggest advantages

February 21, 2017

The battle that's been brewing between live financial advisers and automated advice providers seems to have ended in a draw. Both sides of the fight are largely adopting their opponents' biggest advantages and the lines between robo and live...

Investors mix target-date funds and other investments to pursue specific strategies

February 6, 2017

Defined contribution plan participants who hold a target-date fund along with other investments in their accounts might not be misusing or misunderstanding this option. Their mixing of investments can reflect a specific investment strategy,...

Getting a handle on robo-advisers' returns

February 5, 2017

Not all digital advice platforms are created equal. But which one ultimately serves your clients best will take a bit more time to tease out. A recent analysis by Condor Capital Management attempted to provide an early peek at winners and losers....

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...

Raymond James to deliver robo service for advisers by year end

January 30, 2017

Raymond James Financial will introduce a digital advice platform for advisers to use with clients by year end, though it still has no intention of providing direct robo advice to clients. Through its affiliated advisers' websites, clients will...

When it comes to investment returns, not all robos measure up

January 25, 2017

Just as no two financial advisory firms will provide a client the same results when it comes to investment performance, robo advisers vary greatly in performance for investors, a new analysis finds. Seeking to illustrate that the assumptions...

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...

Vanguard keeps its own management pay under wraps

January 19, 2017

With $3.9 trillion in assets under management, index fund pioneer Vanguard Group is an influential shareholder, able to weigh in on how executives across corporate America should be paid. At the same time, because of its unique corporate structure,...

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...

Will Trump's tweets continue to move markets — and is that a good thing?

January 12, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump proved he can move markets, but how persistent the Trump effect will be remains to be seen. Mr. Trump said at his press conference Wednesday that pharmaceutical companies were “getting away with murder” on drug...

SEC announces 2017 exam priorities, adds robo-advisers to list

January 12, 2017

For the first time, the Securities and Exchange Commission has included “electronic investment advice,” or advice offered through so-called robo-advisers, to its annual list of examination priorities, highlighting regulators' concerns about...

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...

Vanguard adds record $305 billion in 2016

January 6, 2017

Vanguard Group, the world's largest mutual fund manager, said it attracted a record $305 billion last year — an annual total that some firms need decades to reach. Vanguard's take, which tops the firm's previous record of $276.4 billion in...

Charles Schwab to combine robo-advice and financial advisers in new hybrid model

December 13, 2016

Charles Schwab & Co. plans to target mass affluent investors with a hybrid robo model that combines advice from financial advisers with online advice. With a $25,000 minimum, Schwab Intelligent Advisory will provide clients a customized financial...

Vanguard's market share keeps growing

December 12, 2016

The Vanguard Group now has one in every five dollars in the $16 trillion mutual fund industry, according to Morningstar. Vanguard, which has nearly $3 trillion in U.S. mutual fund assets, is riding the wave of passive investing, which shows...

Ex-worker sues Vanguard over firing, claiming whistleblower protections

December 6, 2016

A former employee of the Vanguard Group has filed a lawsuit claiming she was fired because of her whistleblowing activity. In the lawsuit, filed last Friday in federal court in Pennsylvania, plaintiff A. Karen Brock, 57, alleges her termination...

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