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Articles published 4/2016


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Tom Kimberly: It was my decision.

Betterment informs RIA clients of new $2,400 license fee then cancels it, for now, after advisor blowback

During an intense 48-hour period and 'dozens' of conversations with RIA principals, Tom Kimberly capitulated to advisors who say the fee outstrips the features

April 29, 2016 – 8:48 PM

Dawn Bennett was named as example of how the Barron's Top 100 list can lead investors astray.

AdvisorHub slams Barron's for its advisor list - correlating higher rankings with higher complaint rates

Jed Horowitz cites an unholy alliance between the Dow Jones publication and the many advisors and firms who make the list -- with criteria based largely on asset accumulation

April 28, 2016 – 7:57 PM

Seth Waugh is neither a real Alex. Brown guy nor somebody who has walked in a broker's shoes, but his Wall Street bona fides are platinum grade.

As Raymond James seeks to wire its Alex. Brown upbranding deal, it hires past Deutsche CEO Seth Waugh with bona fides and baggage

In adding execuive chair, Raymond James is looking to complete the orchid botanist's task of providing just the right Wall Street water and Baltimore sunlight

April 27, 2016 – 7:49 PM

Greg Sullivan: Now we have more latitude and can act more quickly when we want to hire someone or give people raises.

Why a $2.8 billion RIA spun away from a Canadian bank despite a 'really good relationship' spanning 13 years

Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blayney principals want to ramp up growth but BMO Harris banker body language said: Not so fast

April 26, 2016 – 8:33 PM

Mary Jo White: Nine of 10 startups fail but an equally interesting statistic from one post-mortem analysis is that 70% of failed startups die within 20 months after their last financing and have raised an average of $11 million

Why crowdfunding is madness, but maybe not with an RIA at the helm

With its holier-than-thou pitches and self-dealing syndication fees, crowdfunding is really only good if you're the crowdseeker

April 26, 2016 – 5:38 PM

Dan Skiles: The reality with today's advisor technology is that you can compete with anyone -- you don't have legacy issues.

Feeling RIA custody oats, Dan Skiles and Peter Mangan attract smaller RIAs but big-name lights to SSG event

The ex-Schwab RIA software chief delivered keynote at his Shareholders Service Group confab

April 25, 2016 – 7:41 PM

Walt Bettinger: The retail investor tends not to move as rapidly . . . or certainly doesn’t have a mutual fund sales person calling on them, telling them to move, like you have going on in the RIA space.

Amid hail of DOL questions, Walt Bettinger calls RIAs' draining OneSource 'identified' risk, and explains away LPL/ RBC/BBVA picks of BlackRock FutureAdvisor over Schwab robo

Schwab CEO admits he underappreciated 'brand' barrier in selling Schwab robo on B2B basis, and DOL 'best interest' issue hangs fire

April 22, 2016 – 9:23 PM

Brad MacMillan: I'm going to be using fewer and fewer qualifiers—and the day when I drop them entirely will probably come sooner than you might expect.

That employment boom is pretty much here

With the Great Recession in the rear-view mirror, all signs point to a job-creation bonanza not seen since the 1990s

April 22, 2016 – 6:46 PM

Don A. Steinbrugge: Obviously most hedge fund managers do not have houses in The Hamptons or private jets.

A hedgie defends hedge funds -- and their disparaged managers -- amid a tough PR run for the category

Pension funds won't hit their must-have 8% assumption rate on a bland diet of fixed-income and equities -- a carefully chosen manager can add much-needed spice

April 21, 2016 – 8:04 PM

Bing Waldert: 401(k) plans are difficult [when it comes] to generating income. You can set up a withdrawal but only at a certain age. If you need to take out a big chunk because of a big medical bill, you can't do that.

Why luring 401(k) assets to IRA rollovers in a post-DOL-rule world remains child's play, which keeps $7.6 trillion in the IRA game and growing

Clients still hate 401(k) inflexibility around withdrawals and the DOL granted advisors the upper hand in getting clients to sign away protections with regard to pricier products

April 20, 2016 – 8:25 PM

Adam Nash: We're firm believers that artificial intelligence applied to your actual behavior will provide far more powerful advice than what traditional advisors offer today.

After Betterment's $100 million VC raise makes 25 newspapers, Wealthfront unveils 3.0 on blog and Twitter

The big Redwood City robo is staying in character by touting 'artificial intelligence,' in synch with Facebook's CEO, but whether it's a real delineation or simple evolution is hard to tell

April 19, 2016 – 9:35 PM

Edward Siedle: Overstaffing, underfunding, a lack of transparency and too much politics [are unacceptable].

The exit of CalPERS' turnaround CEO Anne Stausboll raises the question of whether the pension Goliath's changes are too little, too late and mostly superficial

Stausboll made a big showing of cutting hedge funds and other active managers but her last big act was to pay up for a New York office tower, funded by the sale of a diversified real estate portfolio

April 18, 2016 – 8:12 PM

Scott Smith: I don't think the goal for them is to fight Wealthfront.

With BlackRock ahead and blue ocean behind, LPL finds its robo comfort zone

With the 150 basis-point-plus price of Guided Wealth Portfolios, LPL's robo plan doesn't look so robo, except for the onboarding

April 15, 2016 – 7:59 PM

Don Trone: 'Acting in the best interests of others' is a principle. It only takes seven words .... The DOL uses 1,000 pages of rules to kill the concept.

Don Trone's 7 reasons why the DOL rule is flawed to the point of 'folly'

Hurling jabs at opponents and proponents alike, the fiduciary maven says both sides failed to recognize and incorporate the role of RIAs

April 15, 2016 – 5:40 PM

Irwin Stein: Those crickets you heard from those quarters in the wake of the DOL rule's publication constituted stifled jubilation.

A veteran of securities law killed his weekend reading all 1,000 pages of the DOL rule -- and has a takeaway to share

Despite reassuring words, the rules steer ill-done-by investors down that dark alley of FINRA arbitrations where complaints go to die

April 13, 2016 – 9:30 PM

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