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Betterment presses Trump to keep DOL rule

December 5, 2016

Robo-adviser Betterment is reaching out to President-elect Donald Trump to keep him from gutting the Labor Department's fiduciary rule for retirement advice. It ran a full-page ad in Monday's Wall Street Journal directing Mr. Trump to “stand...

Muni funds take on water as rates rise

December 5, 2016

Municipal bond funds are starting to sink as interest rates rise. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note has soared from a low of 1.37% July 8 to 2.40% Monday, sending bond prices plummeting. Municipal bond funds, whose interest is...

401(k) plan designs hurt employees' ability to save

November 22, 2016

Many company 401(k) retirement savings plans could use a swift kick into the 21st century, according to a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. A number of longtime 401(k) plan designs fail to reflect a new, more mobile...

What's really behind the leadership change at Wealthfront

November 1, 2016

Wealthfront's growth being surpassed by its competition may have led the robo-adviser to cut chief executive Adam Nash from daily management of the company, outside fintech experts said. The digital advice platform announced Monday that venture...

The race for lower fees shines a light on smart beta

October 6, 2016

As BlackRock Inc. throws down the gauntlet with some sweeping price cuts across its exchange-traded funds lineup, it's only logical to assume the increasingly popular smart beta strategies will be next in line to feel the spreading pressure...

Testing the limits of ETF tax efficiency

September 28, 2016

Investors in exchange-traded funds don't normally have to fret about tax bills, because tax efficiency is one of the main sales pitches right along with transparency, liquidity and lower fees. But thanks to recent adjustments in certain indexes...

Take 5: Vanguard's global chief economist Joe Davis says 1% interest rates the new normal

September 27, 2016

Joe Davis is Vanguard's global chief economist and also head of Vanguard's Investment Strategy Group, which conducts research on portfolio construction, develops the firm's economic and market outlook, and helps oversee Vanguard's asset allocation...

DOL fiduciary rule expected to put new pressure on mutual fund expenses

September 23, 2016

The ripple effects of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule is expected to put new pressure on mutual fund fees, and could even lead to fewer fund share classes, according to a report from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The DOL rule, which...

In unusual upset of an incumbent, Finra board elects new small-seat representative

September 19, 2016

Robert Muh, chief executive of Sutter Securities, won a seat on the Finra board of governors representing small firms in an unusual victory over an incumbent. Mr. Muh prevailed over four candidates vying for the position, including the governor...

Vanguard's John Bogle: Ready or not, an expanded fiduciary rule is coming

September 15, 2016

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor established a federal standard of fiduciary duty that requires investment advisers and brokers who give advice to clients holding retirement plans to place the interests of investors before their...

Betterment rebrands in bid to attract advisers

September 14, 2016

Seeking to make it clear to financial advisers that it has a digital advice platform aimed squarely at them, Betterment Institutional has switched its name to Betterment for Advisors, the company announced Wednesday. “Our mission is to partner...

Empower evolving 401(k) defaults with TDF-managed account hybrid

September 13, 2016

Empower Retirement, a unit of Great-West Financial, is developing a new type of default investment for 401(k) plans that fuses target-date funds and managed accounts to try improving on what some see as a shortcoming in how TDFs are structured....

2016 section 529 college savings plans

September 11, 2016

Ranked by assets State Program Manager Assets ($M) VA CollegeAmerica American Funds $51,950.0 NY New York's 529 Program (Direct) Ascensus $19,046.8 NV The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan Ascensus $13,202.3 NH UNIQUE College Investing Plan...

9 facts that make Vanguard the king of mutual funds

September 6, 2016

Vanguard, the nation's largest mutual fund company, is on a roll these days. Want to challenge your Valley Forge, Pa., overlords? You've got your work cut out for you.

District Court dismisses 401(k) fiduciary breach lawsuit against Chevron

August 30, 2016

A lawsuit against Chevron Corp. over alleged 401(k) fiduciary breaches has been dismissed by a U.S. District Court judge in Oakland, Calif. Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton on Monday granted defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint brought by participants...

Charles Schwab fires latest salvo in low-cost TDF war

August 25, 2016

Charles Schwab Corp. has upped the ante in the push to be the lowest-cost provider of target-date retirement funds, launching a new series of target-dated mutual funds on Thursday that edge out Vanguard Group and Fidelity Investments to claim...

Why Modern Portfolio Theory is frozen in time

August 19, 2016

Ready for a quick pop quiz? What do the following five items have in common? The first KFC franchise; the beginning of the diet soda era; Modern Portfolio Theory; the first video recording; and the treadmill's predecessor. To save you a little...

Smart beta finds fixed income

August 18, 2016

Fixed income shapes up as the next frontier for smart-beta strategies. A small but strong showing. The haters are gonna hate this, but things might be shaping up for the start of a bear market for bonds. The momentum is just getting started....

Duke, Johns Hopkins, UPenn and Vanderbilt latest schools under fire for excessive 403(b) fees

August 11, 2016

It's been two days since Yale, MIT and NYU were sued for excessive fees in their retirement plans, and lawyers have already added four more to the pile: Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt...

Yale, MIT and NYU targeted in excessive-fee lawsuits concerning retirement plans

August 9, 2016

A trio of renowned universities — Yale University, New York University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — were sued on Tuesday over allegations that their defined-contribution plans charged employees excessive plan fees, leading...

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