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Low expenses the biggest trend in the fund industry, experts say

March 22, 2016

Smart beta may be the most popular new strategy for mutual fund companies, but the real trend is towards funds with lower expenses. Speaking at the 2016 Thomson Reuters Lipper Alpha Forum Tuesday in New York, a panel of three industry experts...

American Funds says low fees, manager ownership can save actively managed funds

March 18, 2016

As the decade-long trend continues of investors pulling money out of actively managed funds in favor of cheaper indexed strategies, American Funds is coming forward with a not-so-subtle reminder that active management still has a place in most...

Vanguard raises some expense ratios

March 17, 2016

Mutual fund expense ratios can go up and down — even at Vanguard Group Inc. The company has raised expense ratios on 52 funds in the past six months, although they're still lower than an ant's shoelaces. “With the release of its December...

More than 20% of mutual funds shuttered over last five years

March 10, 2016

Nearly a quarter of all stock mutual funds disappeared during the past five years, and competition from index funds could hold the death rate steady in the future. Standard & Poor's, in its semi-annual report on the performance of funds vs....

How to handle return-hungry clients' portfolios during upticks in volatility

February 18, 2016

Happy New Year to all — and equity markets greeted us with the worst opening weeks we've ever seen. We encountered another correction, and clients are growing nervous, as they usually do. They're all asking, "Is it going to get worse? Where...

Smart beta continues to confound advisers

January 25, 2016

Still trying to figure out what smart beta means? You're not alone. “Today's biggest trend is not smart beta, it's wishing we had a better name for it than smart beta,” said Jim King, managing director in ETF portfolio management at Guggenheim...

Investors are fixated on the stock market's August lows

January 20, 2016

Investors are now obsessed with the stock market's dreaded August bottom. Then what? Getting closer to that magic number. What you might want to know about Iran's oil coming to market. The global oil market could drown in over-supply. The hedge...

Corporate earnings season expected to be the worst since 2009

January 14, 2016

As the fourth-quarter earnings season kicks off this week, results for S&P 500 companies are expected to show a decline in profits for a third quarter in a row, confirming that corporate America has slipped into an earnings recession. Profits...

Legg Mason joins the smart-beta ETF space, without calling it that

January 5, 2016

Legg Mason won't be referring to its new suite of exchange-traded funds as smart beta, but that doesn't mean the financial services industry will be following its lead. “The funds use a smart-beta method, combining elements of both passive...

The junk-bond correction is not the next financial crisis

January 4, 2016

All those folks claiming the recent pullback by junk bonds is just like the start of the 2008 financial crisis need to watch the movie 'The Big Short' to understand why they're wrong. There is no surge in junk-bond defaults. It's a brand new...

SEC report revisits sting of unsolved Aug. 24 market slide

December 30, 2015

Financial adviser Theodore Feight vividly remembers Aug. 24 as the day his clients lost $5.5 million within three minutes of the stock market's opening bell. A series of technical, and possibly human, failures rippled through the exchanges and...

Passive strategies put another mark in the win column in 2015

December 30, 2015

Most active mutual fund managers missed the boat in 2015, with just 27% of large-cap core funds beating the S&P 500 Index. Adding fuel to the active-versus-passive debate. If you thought Congress was lame in 2015, just wait till next year. It...

Economic forecasters predict market volatility in 2016

December 29, 2015

What do all the really smart economic forecasters see for 2016? Volatility, baby. Take advantage of stock price swings. The Fed's tiny little rate hike isn't likely to be enough to derail corporate America's borrowing binge. Next year is expected...

What we'll remember about the markets in 2015

December 29, 2015

Reflecting on 2015, I'm inclined to dub it the year of “It's about time.” After years of taunting and teasing, the Federal Reserve finally pulled the trigger in December with the most hyped 25-basis-point interest-rate hike in history, leading...

The bullish outlook for 2016

December 27, 2015

Forget about all that cheap-oil, rising-rates, strong-dollar business, because there are still plenty of arguments for a strong stock market in the year ahead. The bullishness requires a long-term perspective. There's a bit of optimism in the...

Rough week doesn't derail the outlook for ETFs

December 18, 2015

Nagging market disruptions in the form of an historic Fed rate hike, plunging commodity prices, and the sudden collapse of the Third Avenue junk bond fund might require some portfolio rejiggering, but not enough to derail the positive momentum...

Guggenheim plays the value card with new Dow dividend-focused ETF

December 17, 2015

With the Fed's first rate hike in nearly a decade behind us and the uncertainty now wrapped around what comes next, the equity markets are expected to face fresh challenges until monetary policy becomes clearer. Such a scenario could pave the...

The junk-bond selloff is raining on the Fed's rate-hike parade

December 15, 2015

Just when the Fed felt it was safe to move off a zero-rate policy, suddenly all kinds of heck is busting loose in the high-yield bond market. Is it too late for the Fed to change course about a rate hike this week? The junk-bond rout still has...

Third Avenue fund collapse may be 'much bigger problem' for bond ETFs

December 14, 2015

Third Avenue Management's abrupt freezing of investor redemptions from its high-yield bond fund may be an early warning signal for bond exchange-traded funds. Investment strategists say that Third Avenue's troubles may be the latest test for...

Third Avenue rattles the junk bond market

December 14, 2015

Third Avenue Management's unprecedented move last week of blocking investor redemptions from its junk-bond fund has clearly rattled the bond markets, but it doesn't mean this is the end of days for fixed income investors. Try not to freak out...

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