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The markets fear a contested presidential election

November 7, 2016

The biggest concern for investors right now should be a contested presidential election. Fearing the hanging chads. Regardless of who wins the election, the best bet might be gold. The one certain winner. Could $500,000 be the new number for...

Handful of mutual funds set up for big capital gains distributions

November 4, 2016

So far, 2016 doesn't look like a year in which investors will be hit hard with mutual fund capital gains distributions. But there are some noteworthy standouts. A “handful of doozies.” The official word from Wells Fargo is that the SEC is...

UBS Wealth Management Americas sees record profit in boost from fee-based assets, lending

October 28, 2016

UBS Group AG's wealth management business in the Americas posted record profitability in the third quarter even as it saw the lowest third-quarter volume in client transactions since 2009. The unit produced unprecedented pretax profit of $328...

Janus in a double whammy as assets flee and revenue drops

October 27, 2016

Janus Capital Group, in process of being bought by Henderson Group, saw $2 billion in assets flee in the third quarter. To make matters worse for Janus, revenues have dropped from lower fees. If you think that regulators are done scrutinizing...

Why the AT&T-Time Warner merger bodes ill for the market

October 26, 2016

Think the AT&T/Time Warner merger is a good thing for the stock market? Think again. History suggests it could be more of a trick than a treat. The odds of getting a tax hike through the House of Representatives are long indeed. Still, the wealthy...

Volatility seen as best way to hedge against political risk

October 26, 2016

Let's say that you were worried about political risk because the elections scare you more than going down to the basement to investigate a screaming furnace. What would be the best way to hedge against it? Forget gold and bonds. Volatility is...

Investor exodus forcing hedge fund managers to take big pay cuts

October 21, 2016

The hits just keep on coming to the hedge fund space as managers are now expecting a 34% pay cut. Squeaking by on just $300,000. Yikes. Hints of new European monetary stimulus has pushed the greenback to a seven-month high. Leaving un ultra-loose...

Morgan Stanley may not follow Merrill Lynch's lead to ban IRA commissions

October 19, 2016

Morgan Stanley may not be following Bank of America Merrill Lynch's lead in discontinuing commission-based IRAs. In a conference call Wednesday on its third-quarter earnings CEO James Gorman said Morgan Stanley would announce its plans concerning...

Commodities funds may offer inflation hedge, but many overweight energy

October 19, 2016

If you look in the average investor's closet of anxieties, inflation is probably the biggest, scariest monster of them all. And increasingly, investors have been looking at commodities funds as a way to offset the effects of inflation and diversify...

Bank of America CFO says decision to stop paying IRA commissions won't incite Merrill Lynch brokers to quit

October 17, 2016

Bank of America Corp.'s chief financial officer Paul Donofrio on Monday dismissed the notion brokers working for its Merrill Lynch brokerage unit will defect en masse because of the firm's decision to stop paying commissions on individual retirement...

Stock market falls into earnings season

October 12, 2016

Earnings season kicks off with a little stock market selloff. Just enough of a dip to keep us on our toes, but not enough to keep us up at night. “You are coming up against very low expectations.” The price of gold is signaling an increased...

Downtrodden international funds looking for a break

October 11, 2016

For international funds to race ahead of domestic funds, you typically need a falling dollar and rising foreign markets. This year, most international funds are misfiring on at least one cylinder. The average large-company foreign blend fund...

Small-cap stocks have more room to run

October 10, 2016

Despite the run-up by small-cap stocks this year, the longer-term view still favors smaller company stocks over larger companies, according to some market watchers. Small-cap growth funds tracked by Morningstar gained an average of 6.6% since...

What to do when smart beta looks like dumb beta

October 6, 2016

Let's say a financial adviser — not you, of course — recommends a few smart beta ETFs for his client's portfolio. And unfortunately, those smart beta ETFs promptly head south. What should that financial adviser — not you — do? If you...

Deutsche Bank turmoil exposes ETN counter-party risk

October 4, 2016

Nearly two dozen exchange-traded notes have come into Deutsche Bank's troubled shadow. Counterparty risk assessments. Projecting the next move for stocks. Going down to go up. Dissecting the dividend-payer buzz. Is dividend payment mandatory?...

Don't discount public company disclosures in fiduciary process

September 30, 2016

While individual investors rarely read disclosures or give them much thought, advisers should not discount their importance to the fiduciary process. Investment fiduciaries are inherently both producers and consumers of disclosure data. The...

Why you should still be worried about big-bank failures

September 16, 2016

The risks of big banks failing might be greater now than it was leading into the financial crisis. That should get Elizabeth Warren's attention. A “nontrivial probability.” To all the index junkies out there, here are some arguments in support...

Investors pile in as REITs move closer to S&P 500 sector status

September 15, 2016

The establishment of real estate as an eleventh sector of the S&P 500 Index is morphing into a near-term investment strategy, according to some market watchers. The real estate play, ahead of REITs' elevation to sector status on Friday, is seen...

Financial-advice firms see record 2015 earnings yet slowest growth since crisis, study shows

September 13, 2016

Independent financial-advice firms produced record earnings last year, but their growth rate dropped off the most since the financial crisis, according to an annual benchmarking study by InvestmentNews research. Revenue rose to a record $3.89...

Donald Trump tries to shame the Fed into raising rates

September 13, 2016

In his campaign to become the next president of the United States, Donald Trump is pushing the envelope in his attempted influence over monetary policy. Trying to shame Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Too much Fed speak is now rattling the bond market....

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