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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...

John Bogle says investors don't need to own international stocks​

April 29, 2017

John Bogle founded The Vanguard Group — the nation's largest mutual fund company, introduced the world to index funds, and has saved investors trillions of dollars in fees and commissions. And he doesn't care for international investing. "Everyone...

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...

If only alpha were easy

April 20, 2017

Chris Phillips BattleBots is a TV series that originally aired in the early 2000s and was revitalized in 2015. If you aren't familiar with BattleBots, it's a show that has inspired viewers of all ages (including yours truly) to dream about or...

Judge in Putnam 401(k) suit deals potential setback to plaintiffs using Vanguard as fee benchmark

April 6, 2017

A federal judge has seemingly dealt a blow to plaintiffs bringing claims against financial services companies for excessive retirement plan fees, following a recent ruling in a self-dealing lawsuit involving Putnam Investments' 401(k) plan....

Betterment co-founder Eli Broverman steps down from day-to-day operations

April 4, 2017

Betterment co-founder and president Eli Broverman has given up day-to-day operation of the digital advice firm to devote his time and energy to finding new technology firms to build. "As Betterment has moved into growth stage, I've gotten the...

Vanguard's Bogle: Fiduciary rule bureaucracy is a problem

April 4, 2017

John C. Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group, discusses why the firm backs the DOL fiduciary rule but is still in favor of delaying the regulation's implementation.

'Great skepticism' a primary trait for industry innovators: Bogle

April 3, 2017

John C. Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group, believes "great skepticism" and questioning everything helped lead to his overwhelming success, and recommends others in the industry also adopt a critical eye. Mr. Bogle, who accepted an award Monday...

Ned Davis: Passion for passive a 'bubble'

March 30, 2017

As assets continue to pour into passive index funds, backlash from active managers has risen. The latest salvo against passive investing comes from Ned Davis Research in a recent piece by the firm's founder titled "The Passive Investment Bubble."...

Fidelity's RIA business: a strong No. 2 that's working harder

March 26, 2017

Fidelity lost its title as the largest mutual fund manager to archrival Vanguard Group in 2003, and in the race for RIA assets, Fidelity also plays second fiddle — in this case, to Charles Schwab & Co. But if you put all of its businesses...

The full list of 2017 Lipper Fund Awards winners

March 23, 2017

The Thomson Reuters Lipper Fund Awards winners have been announced. Lipper measures the winners by their risk-adjusted returns over multiple periods. Award winners are rewarded for consistency over time, including the top 3-year, 5-year and...

Vanguard's Joe Davis on interest rates, the US economy and what the Federal Reserve will do next

March 23, 2017

Joe Davis is Vanguard's global chief economist and head of the Vanguard Investment Strategy Group, which helps set the Valley Forge, Pa., fund behemoth's asset allocation strategy. Mr. Davis spoke with InvestmentNews about the outlook for interest...

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...

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