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Vanguard rides robo-advice wave to $65B in assets

June 20, 2017

While much of the financial services industry has been fretting for the past few years over how to compete in the age of digital-advice platforms, The Vanguard Group Inc. appears to have cracked the code in a steady climb to more than $65 billion...

New York Life's MainStay lays off defined-contribution wholesalers amid challenging market

June 16, 2017

MainStay Investments, the mutual fund and exchange traded fund distribution arm of New York Life Insurance Co., has laid off some of its wholesalers calling on retirement plan advisers and consultants, as the defined contribution market grows...

Capital Group, the sponsor of American Funds, sued for self-dealing in its 401(k) plan

June 15, 2017

The recent lawsuit lodged against The Capital Group Companies Inc. for alleged self-dealing in the company's 401(k) plan is one of several similar legal battles being waged with large asset managers, and could prove difficult for plaintiffs...

Vanguard founder John Bogle still prefers U.S. stocks

June 12, 2017

While a chorus of market experts is telling investors to look outside of the U.S. for big returns, at least one loud voice is singing a very different tune — Vanguard Group founder John Bogle. The 88-year-old investor, who started the first...

Bill Gross: US markets at highest risk levels since before financial crisis

June 7, 2017

U.S. markets are at their highest risk levels since before the 2008 financial crisis because investors are paying a high price for the chances they're taking, according to Bill Gross, manager of the $2 billion Janus Henderson Global Unconstrained...

LPL tweaks pricing of investment products in preparation for DOL fiduciary rule

June 1, 2017

LPL Financial continues to revamp its pricing of investment products in preparation for the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, informing advisers on a conference call on Thursday morning that, going forward, there would be level compensation...

Morgan Stanley to arm its financial advisers with algorithms to take over routine tasks

May 31, 2017

Call them cyborgs. Morgan Stanley is about to augment its 16,000 financial advisers with machine-learning algorithms that suggest trades, take over routine tasks and send reminders when your birthday is near. The project, known internally as...

Wells Fargo, in 'atypical' outcome, wins 401(k) lawsuit

May 30, 2017

Wells Fargo & Co. has prevailed in a lawsuit alleging the firm breached its fiduciary duty to the company 401(k) plan by offering proprietary target-date funds. Minnesota district court judge David S. Doty granted Wells Fargo's motion to dismiss,...

Communication is key to robo-advisers' plans to keep their clients on track in a downturn

May 25, 2017

Editor's note: This is part of a series looking at how the advice industry is getting ready for the next market correction. Digital advisers and firms that combine computerized advice with some live help have attracted more than $83 billion...

Betterment targets more affluent investors

May 24, 2017

Citigroup Inc. doesn't think its richer customers will drop their high-priced money managers in favor of automated investing, but Betterment is betting it can prove the big bank wrong. The robo-adviser — the largest of the independent digital...

DOL fiduciary rule provides retirement savers with needed protections

May 24, 2017

I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, which states that any broker or manager offering advice on retirement-savings accounts must put the clients' interests first, looks like...

Shrinking talent pool puts strain on advisory firms

May 20, 2017

Jon Yankee suddenly found himself in a hiring crunch last month. One new financial planning graduate who had accepted an associate adviser position with his firm, FJY Financial, abruptly backed out, and later that week, a midlevel adviser notified...

Use of multiple record keepers could hurt defendants in 403(b) lawsuits

May 19, 2017

Judges in lawsuits targeting the Duke University and Emory University retirement plans have given life to a novel claim against the universities' use of multiple record keepers, setting the stage for a potential legal blow to a common practice...

Finra chairman John Brennan says DOL rule has raised standard for financial advice

May 16, 2017

Finra chairman John J. Brennan said on Tuesday that even if the Labor Department's fiduciary rule is repealed, it has elevated and put into plain language the idea of providing investment advice that's better for clients' returns than for financial...

SoFi to add human advisers to its digital wealth management platform

May 16, 2017

The line between robo-advisers and traditional wealth-management services used to be black and white. Now it's increasingly gray. Social Finance Inc., the online lender known as SoFi, is ramping up its wealth-management platform by adding human...

Courts' interpretations of 401(k) fiduciary laws are changing

May 16, 2017

It appears that laws of fiduciary prudence under ERISA are evolving. A recent district court decision, in Lorenz v. Safeway, demonstrates this point. "What is good for the goose is good for the gander" is not a common legal maxim, but the District...

Private equity adds fuel to 401(k) record-keeper consolidation

May 11, 2017

Just as 401(k) record keepers cry poverty, claiming there are no profit margins left and fueling consolidation, private equity has jumped in, perhaps seeing value that traditional record keepers are missing. What's causing this consolidation...

Morgan Stanley's decision to cut Vanguard funds likely due to DOL fiduciary rule

May 8, 2017

Morgan Stanley's decision to eliminate new sales of Vanguard Group mutual funds appears to reduce a potential conflict under the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule. Vanguard does not pay brokerage firms like Morgan Stanley for distribution,...

Is it time to go international?

April 29, 2017

The question for advisers now: When will the hurting stop? More importantly, if international investing is worthwhile, what do you need to tell clients? No less a personality than John Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group, has expressed skepticism...

BlackRock's two-tier ETF pricing system is working

April 26, 2017

BlackRock Inc. signaled its willingness to engage in a price war last October by cutting fees on 15 exchange-traded funds, going head-to-head with faster-growing ETF rivals Vanguard Group and Charles Schwab Corp. in the fight for investors flocking...

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