Karin Risi: Our goal is to provide additional access and flexibility to our clients, not spur counter-productive, frequent trading activity.

Vanguard Group launches its free-trading super desk of 1,800 ETFs; now only if clients won't abuse the privilege

The Malvern, Pa. giant risks creating a casino but its clients are expected to stay responsible and use free trades for dollar-cost averaging, rebalancing and harvesting losses for tax purposes

9 hours ago by Brooke Southall

Vanguard Group made good today on its promise to remove trading costs on 90% of the ETFs trading on major exchanges -- effectively eliminating the one gripe some investors hold against the already beloved products.

Eric Balchunas: Vanguard wants to be the Walmart of financial services ...

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Elliot Weissbluth: It's bigger and more ripe than we calculated.

How HighTower's executive shuffle, kicking CEO Elliot Weissbluth upstairs, opens door for new talent and paves way for Thomas Lee-fueled acquisitions splurge

Since Thomas H. Lee's $350 million February purchase of HighTower, the firm has sought ways to separate dealmaking and operational duties, but recruiting goes to outsourcer and M&A goes to Marc Cabezas.

August 20, 2018 — 7:57 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: Private equity can be expected to put square pegs into square holes. Elliot Weissbluth is a charismatic leader and dealmaker. He struggled more as day-to-day CEO, especially after he lost his president a year ago. See: Elliot Weissbluth's second in ...

2 Comments
Tackling the wilds of Alaska more imposing than balancing a portfolio

Chip's and Skip's 'Excellent Adventure' breaks RIA stereotypes, sheds risk aversion for 'gut-busting' Alaska hike; black bears, grizzlies and moose, oh my!

This year the Excellent Adventure crew assembled in Girdwood, Alaska for a trek up the Crow Pass Trail, which meanders through a rain forest inhabited by black bears, grizzly, and moose.

August 20, 2018 — 5:30 PM UTC by Guest Columnist Scott MacKillop

The financial services industry is not viewed by most people as a haven for wild and crazy adventure-seekers.  Yet for the past seven years, Chip Roame of Tiburon Strategic Advisors, and Skip Schweiss of TD Ameritrade, have shown that stereotypes often don’t tell the ...

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David Blanchett: Someone who expects to retire at 65 may be more likely to actually retire at 63 … [and] the impact can be severe: fewer years of saving combined with a greater need in retirement.

Morningstar causes uproar with new study that upends everything RIAs assumed about retirement planning, and it all comes down to a number

In July, Morningstar published its latest retirement report, and its author David Blanchett poses tough questions, suggesting advisors risk “havoc” when predicting retirement. But the industry claims it's well prepared.

August 17, 2018 — 8:51 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

David Blanchett's new Morningstar Inc. July report is provoking a strong reaction among RIAs who take it on the chin from the study's conclusion that most advisors are consistently wrong when it comes to retirement planning, all because of a single number. 

Citing studies ...

2 Comments
Jud Bergman: The rate of account growth of advisors opening net new accounts has slowed over the last quarter. [We] don't know if it's going to last one, two, three quarters, but we are planning.

Envestnet CEO Jud Bergman's FolioDynamix deal suddenly looks prescient as SMA-to-UMA market shift dings revenues, third-party asset managers

In Envestnet's latest Q2 earnings call, Jud Bergman revealed the transition from SMAs to UMAs will hit Envestnet and third-party asset managers who sell their SMA wares through Envestnet's platform. But UMA efficiencies may drive down costs faster than revenues fall, making the FolioDynamix purchase look shrewder than ever.

August 16, 2018 — 5:12 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: Envestnet continues to make a wrenching change from being king of the SMA world to being financial wellness king. But on its way to that lofty aspiration, it is making a strategic retreat to low-margin UMAs. 'Wellness' -- as best as anyone can ...

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Eric Becker brings client point of view to family office

Cresset cracks the family office market with a unique proposition; a suite of touchy-feely services that go beyond money management and help clients manage their lives

Cresset, guided by two savvy venture capitalists. is aiming to build the next-generation multi-family office on an independent, employee- and client-owned platform

August 15, 2018 — 4:42 PM UTC by By Lisa Shidler

Chicago-based Cresset Capital Management, founded by private equity entrepreneurs Eric Becker and Avy Stein, just launched a family office in San Francisco that will include touchy-feely services that most other family offices don't offer.

Avy Stein: Bringing a unique family office to market.

Cresset ...

1 Comment
Tony Salewski: Cetera's ability to recruit advisors moves the needle in a way that's the most attractive to grow ... There's so much we can do at the base that M&A is not the key part of the thesis.

After RIA private equity hot-shot Genstar's $1.7 billion purchase of ugly duckling Cetera, Robert Moore plans to take on LPL--not with acquisitions, but a recruitment storm

Genstar bought a majority share in Cetera in July for a rumored $1.7 billion; now Genstar MD Tony Salewski and ex-LPL President and Cetera CEO Robert Moore have put ramping up the rep count front-and-center in their plans to turn the long-troubled IBD ugly duckling into a market giant at LPL's expense.

August 15, 2018 — 12:35 AM UTC by Oisin Breen

With fresh capital, new partners and a radical new plan to turn reps into owners, ex-LPL chief-in-waiting and Cetera Chairman and CEO Robert Moore is no longer playing the niche game.

Robert Moore: We stood in the face of adversity unlike any other firm in ...

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