29 Nov 2016

CalSTERs CIO Says Indexing Is Best For Individual Investors

[sgmb id=”2″] The Chief Investment officer (CIO) of CalSTRS, the second largest pension fund in the U.S. said his fund relies more on indexing than active management primarily due to the high fees and sub-par returns associated with active management for their $192 billion pension fund. In an interview on Bloomberg

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14 Jun 2016

Mutual Fund Fees Get Scathing TV Review from John Oliver

[sgmb id=”2″] In the show (see video), Oliver created a 401(k) for his show’s employees.  The show’s producer chose John Hancock as the plan provider, who charged an asset management fees of 1.69%, on top of a $24 per-person annual fee and other fund fees. In addition, Hancock an unnamed

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20 May 2016

How Student Debt Impacts Home Ownership and Retirement

Despite all the complexities of investing and the machinations of the financial markets, there are only three main ways to build wealth for the average American: Through home ownership, by creating a portfolio and by savings. Of these, the one with the largest, most consistent and common payoff is home ownership. That’s

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28 Apr 2016

More Bad News for Wealth Managers: Neoliberalism is Destroying Your Client Base

Like the citizens of Garrison Keillor’s mythical city in Minnesota, Lake Wobegone, where 90% of the residents are in the top half of the class, 90% of today’s wealth managers continue of their quest to find the top 10% of the wealthiest Americans. It’s a tough search and by all

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07 Apr 2016

Historic Pro-Investor Fiduciary Regulations Now Under Attack From Trump Administration

[sgmb id=”2″] The Trump Administration has announced that it will seek to reverse the U.S. Department of Labor’s historic announcement that millions of investors will finally be able to receive objective, unbiased information about their investment choices. This attack on the fiduciary standard also is being abetted by the most

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06 Apr 2016

Should the Retirement Industry Accept Some Blame for the Retirement Crisis?

Social responsibility has been a buzzword in corporate America for decades, but nowhere has it been more conspicuously vacant than in the recent stories about the pending retirement crisis that is currently facing millions of Americans. At issue is whether the retirement industry, comprised of investment, mutual fund and insurance

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20 Nov 2015

Investors and Retirees Should Expect Less in 2016

2016 looks like it will be a rocky years for investors. U.S. economic growth in 2016 was cut to 2.4%, a decrease from a previous estimate of 2.8%, according to a report by Goldman Sachs in September 2015. On a global level, GDP growth was cut from 4.3 %  to 3.7% primarily due

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05 Nov 2015

The Investment Company Institute Again Betrays Individual Investors

The leading trade association of the $16 trillion in assets (as of year-end 2014) mutual fund industry has again shown its distain for individual mutual fund shareholders. In a recent letter to Congressional committee, the president of the Investment Company Institute (ICI), the mutual fund industry’s leading lobbying group, went

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30 Sep 2015

Why Modern Business Requires Changes in Retirement Planning

Most advice on retirement planning has traditionally focused on the basics of portfolio construction, risk management, diversification, maximizing contributions and other financial considerations. But there is also another important aspect of retirement that only gets marginal coverage.  That aspect is happiness. Various indexes, such as the World Happiness Report, now

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04 Sep 2015

Principal Life Agrees to Lower Fees As Part of Class Action Settlement Offering Proprietary Funds

Principal Life, a subsidiary of Principal Financial, one of the nation’s largest companies in the 401(k) industry, likes to portray itself as the folksy neighbor interested in your financial well-being. But as a recent settlement shows, Principal Life has no qualms about pushing its own, more expensive proprietary funds to

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