ACTIONABLE ADVICE FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS: Newsletters and Commentaries Focused on Investment Strategy

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Does Rebalancing Really Pay Off?? by Michael Edesess

No investment advice is more universally offered than the advice - originally posited by William Bernstein - to rebalance your portfolio. Yet, the evidence that this practice is beneficial is shockingly meager.

Most Recent Commentaries

Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust by Sam Stewart of Wasatch Funds

Former Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes was well-known for his conservative offense-often quoted as saying, "There are only three things that can happen when you pass, and two of them are bad." The two bad outcomes are either an incompletion or an interception. Instead, Hayes favored a methodical, grind-it-out approach, running the ball directly into the line: "three yards and a cloud of dust." What Hayes’ style of play may have lacked in pizazz, it more than made up for in results. The U.S. economy today is following a similar offensive playbook, but with less satisfying results.

Pinning Hopes on the 'Chosen One' by Sharat Shroff of Matthews Asia

, I would caution against expectations of a quick fix or a fixation over the short term. As in much of the rest of Asia, India and Indonesia are attempting to tackle their issues and this makes us optimistic for the future. We look forward to an environment of better governance that is critical for both social and economic progress.

High Frequency Trading: Under the Spotlight by Team of Manning & Napier

The growing popularity of HFT is troubling; investors, media outlets, and academics alike are expressing concerns. We applaud any and all efforts that help to shine a light on HFT and its potential threat to the fair and orderly functioning of financial markets. While it remains to be seen if action will be taken against HFT, it is encouraging that ongoing research and dialogue on the subject is catching the broader attention of regulatory bodies that are tasked with preserving the levels of transparency and fairness that all market participants benefit from.

Ukrainian Crisis: Should Investors Avoid the Russian Stock Market? by Philip Lawton and Noah Beck of Research Affiliates

This is neither to treat the profoundly worrisome crisis in Eastern Europe cavalierly nor to advocate profiting, however indirectly, from the distress of Ukraine, a sovereign nation whose people have suffered horribly over the last three-quarters of a century. It is merely to caution international investors that, from a strictly financial perspective, withdrawing assets from Russia might not be the right move.

What's Wrong with PIMCO? by James Calhoun of South Texas Money Management

When Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke first talked about reducing or tapering the Federal Reserve’s asset purchase program back in May of 2013, the market response was dramatic. Investors started fleeing bonds, causing bond prices to drop and bond yields to rise. In a rising interest rate environment, the net asset value (NAV) of fixed income mutual funds falls as rates rise. This often leads to shareholder redemptions (they want out!), forcing these bond mutual fund portfolio managers to sell bonds in an unfavorable market.

U.S. Financials: Investment Theme Update by James Calhoun of AdvisorShares

We reaffirm our recommendation for U.S. Banking and Financial Services as a satellite equity investment. The Federal Reserve’s "Stress Test" reinforces a constructive outlook and conservative risk profile for U.S. Banks. The positive results confirm that U.S. banks have enhanced their ability to withstand macroeconomic challenges by reducing problem assets during the past few years. Equally important, the financial sector appears to be more exposed to a key driver of the broader equity market advance over the last few years: share buyback programs and increasing dividends.

Why Energy is Catching the Market's Eye by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Over the last month the energy sector has outperformed the market, and as you can see in the chart below, has done so by 6.5 percent. Year-to-date the sector is beating the S&P 500 Index by over 3 percent. In a spectacularly performing market during 2013, energy lacked some of the incredible performance seen throughout the other sectors, but recently it has turned up, catching the attention of the market yet again.

Equity Outlook by Team of Osterweis Capital Management

Short term, we would not be surprised if the market took a breather after its strong gains last year. Additionally we may see volatility related to news coming out of the Middle East and Russia. But longer term, we remain very optimistic on the outlook for U.S. equities. In addition to the reasons we discussed above we believe U.S. equities are very attractive relative to the alternatives. The great bull market in bonds appears to be over. The great decades of emerging market growth appear to be behind us.

A Conversation with DFA’s David Booth by Robert Huebscher

It’s possible for an airplane company to manufacture excellent jets that reliably and safely reach their destination, even if some of its engineers design questionable components. Indeed, its products may be among the best ever designed. That’s my impression DFA, which was reinforced after meeting with its co-founder and co-CEO, David Booth.

The Quality that Defines Star Performers by Dan Richards

Why do so many advisors work incredibly hard to build their practices, reach a solid level of success - and then plateau? In the last 30 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of those stuck advisors and with a few who reached increasingly higher levels of success. I’ve identified one trait that separates the two groups.

Beyond Moneyball - Setting the record straight by Justin Kermond

In The Sabermetric Revolution: Assessing the Growth of Analytics in Baseball, Benjamin Baumer and Andrew Zimbalist attempt to set the record straight. Baumer and Zimbalist contest parts of Michael Lewis’ Moneyball story and broadly address how sophisticated analysis has been used in other sports and why it’s exceedingly difficult for even the most creative and sophisticated approaches to maintain a competitive edge.

Make Your Website An Asset-Gathering Powerhouse by Dan Solin

Although e-commerce does not involve personal meetings, the need to establish an emotional connection with your prospective clients remains the same. Achieving this goal requires a change in strategy. Here are some tips.

A Women’s Viewpoint of Bullying by Beverly Flaxington

I was once asked by a major periodical to comment on research that showed an inordinate percentage of women who get to senior-level positions in investment firms end up voluntarily leaving to start their own business or to enter new industries. The "brain drain" of women from investment advising has been significant. I thought about this brain drain when I received another letter on the issue of bullying, this time from a woman.

Career Center by Various

Find career opportunities for firms that seek to add financial advisors and planners to their staff. Read more to find out how to post opportunities at your firm.

Our Most Read Article from Last Week: Do Small Cap-Value Stocks add Value in Retirement Portfolios? by Joe Tomlinson

Research going back to Fama and French in the early 1990s has shown that small-value stocks have produced superior returns. Subsequent debate has centered on whether this superior performance will continue and if investors should tilt portfolios to capture those returns. I’ll examine the historical evidence, incorporate it in retirement examples and discuss the future prospects for small-cap value.



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