03 Apr 2014

Lewis Argument is Half Right: Financial Markets Are Rigged, But More From the Top-Down Than the Bottom-Up

The recent heated discussion about whether the equity markets are rigged should be a major concern to all investors, especially those in retirement, since it fundamentally affects their quality of life and collective financial futures. Any society which has its fundamental retirement system under constant attack by conservatives concerned about

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03 Apr 2014

Plutocracy, Here We Come

Yesterday’s announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court increased the ability of wealthy donors to influence political campaigns and elections by raising the amount they can contribute to candidates signals that money and politics are now synonymous. In effect, this means that all political offices at every governmental level will now

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27 Aug 2013

Did the Fed Use the Wrong Tools to Resurrect the Economy?

Quantitative easing has been the Fed’s major policy to resurrect the economy since late-2008, but after spending hundreds of billions in the process, it is now fair to ask if better tools were available to resurrect the economy faster than massive bond purchases. It’s a legitimate question, especially considering the

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23 Jul 2013

Plan Sponsors Affronted By Too Much Disclosure?

Disclosure has its pros and cons.  It is good when someone wants to release good news, and the opposite emerges when there is bad news afoot. That seems to be the case when Yale University Law Professor Ian Ayers sent 6,000 letters to plan sponsors notifying them of their ranking

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26 Apr 2013

Hedge Funds Also Charge High Fees, But Fail To Beat the S&P 500 Index

There is more bad news for hedge funds, which saw $1 trillion in redemptions in 2007-2008. A new study in Alpha magazine study shows there is more good reason to question hedge funds. The reason: Most do not even beat the S&P 500 index. Plus, the managers also don’t pay

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01 Oct 2012

Find Out How You Can Save Thousands of Dollars in Mutual Fund Fees

      New Department of Labor (DOL) regulations on 401(k) fee and expense disclosure are having a profound impact on the trillion dollar retirement industry.  But these big changes hinge on whether millions of 401(k) investors want to save their own money by getting better informed. And if you do,

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19 Apr 2012

Revenue sharing lawsuit costs plan sponsor $35 million

In what is being called the first suit involving revenue sharing and fee disclosure and heightened transparency, a Missouri company has been ordered to pay $35 million to current and former plan participants. The lawsuit  (Ronald Tussey et al v. ABB Inc. et al, Case No. 2:06-CV-04305-NKL, United States District

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02 Dec 2011

Low Fund Costs Predict Better Future Returns

The debate over the benefits of active investment management versus passive investing remains a favorite topic of investors. Whenever new data emerges to buttress the long-established argument that index funds, which use passive investing, outperform on all measures compared to active-funds, the strategy gains more attention.

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28 Oct 2011

Why Mutual Fund Expenses Matter to Shareholders

        There are over 8,000 mutual funds in the U.S.* and virtually all of them charge fees to shareholders to help offset their operating expenses. This is a normal cost of doing business. But the mutual fund industry considers itself special.  Over the years, it has lobbied securities

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28 Oct 2011

Four Things to Avoid When Choosing Mutual Funds

  As the battle for financial reform continues into 2011, the battle lines are clearly drawn: It’s the professional financial services industry against its own customers. While there are pockets of resistance, such as the Americans for Financial Reform, and the Committee for the Fiduciary Standard, have opposed any attempts

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