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Articles published 8/2021


Publish date

Walt Bettinger is making sure the commissions and fees under the TD Ameritrade and Schwab brands harmonize -- and sends a signal to rivals that free recordkeeping has its price.

Charles Schwab & Co. jacks up mutual fund commissions 50% to $74.95 on retail investors to counter freeloading by Vanguard, Fidelity and Dodge & Cox funds -- but RIAs dodge the crossfire

The $7.6-trillion, Westlake, Texas, firm is also taking TD Ameritrade sell commissions to zero on mutual funds to harmonize with its own price schedule.

August 31, 2021 at 10:30 PM

Eric Clarke: 'We felt it was important to have the conference, and yet at the same time offer those that want to connect digitally to do so.

Rather than canceling conferences, Orion and Morningstar are hiring doctors, medical staff for upcoming in-person events -- a very 2021 expense to curb COVID and the liability it represents

Having doctors and nurses is the crowning touch to form the smallest bubble possible, making attendees accountable and sparing no expense to avoid COVID superspreading.

August 27, 2021 at 10:26 PM

Many of the 61 hikers went to Montana to power mingle or just get out of the house.

Almost sidetracked by 'bear market,' Chip Roame's and Skip Schweiss's hike-and-network group goes (mostly) long-only in Montana with an upsized group

The Tiburon CEO Summit off-shoot took a decade to grow from 13 aging white guys to a cavalcade of 61 men and women on the age spectrum who like a brutal challenge near a soft hotel bed -- and may represent a succession plan in the making.

August 26, 2021 at 7:38 PM

Aaron Klein: It’s not every day that one of the world’s premier software investors places a big bet like this ... [the sale] signals a lot more investment, a lot more innovation, and a lot more growth.

Riskalyze de-risks by cashing out investors at a $300-million-plus valuation to British mega-investor, but Aaron Klein is keeping big skin in the game

Early investors in the Auburn, Calif., risk software vendor are out and Hg Capital in, but the runaway market leader is facing new competitive risks from Morningstar, Orion and maybe BlackRock.

August 26, 2021 at 1:53 AM

Manish Khatta: If you hold a conference and do not mandate vaccinations, then you are part of the problem.

The 2021 RIA event comeback collapses as FPA, 'Invest In Others' and T3 cancel in-person events, but WealthStack, Riskalyze and SALT won't be deterred

Demand and attendance are mostly high; hosts cite advisors with under-12 children as mostly the reason for balking but say sponsors never flinched.

August 24, 2021 at 11:27 PM

Adam Rein: If what we’re doing is valuable for you, we want to find a way to work with you.

Addepar, Aperio and Bain ex-execs throw $5 million at startup that makes RIAs the quarterback of 'impact investing' endowments that also shelter taxable wealth of ultra-high-net-worth clients

The high-profile, for-profit investors join non-profit foundations to back the Newton, Mass., venture that makes RIAs the pivotal role in marrying charity and ESG, yielding immediate, giant tax deductions.

August 24, 2021 at 2:09 AM

Ray Dalio's sorcery is ready to be sold to the merely affluent after its returns began to look merely average.

Ray Dalio finally deigns to let RIAs allocate AUM to Bridgewater funds but with a coy approach; he'll use iCapital's software to sell through a virtual mystique boutique

After slowed flows and getting 'caught out' in the COVID crash, the $154-billion hedge-fund manager is going retail but only on its own online turf.

August 20, 2021 at 5:56 AM

Walt Bettinger: 'This increase is a way to reward our talented employees for their contributions and their relentless commitment.

Citing 100% increase in net new assets, Charles Schwab Corp. will give staff 5% 'special' pay raise that leaves one HR analyst doing a double-take

As talent wars rage in call center meccas like Dallas and business booms, the Westlake, Texas firm commits to a leap in overhead

August 20, 2021 at 12:01 AM

Bill Crager: We have relationships with over 5,200 companies, which is up from 3,200 companies just three years ago.

Envestnet just surpassed $5 trillion in assets and 108,000 advisors on its platform but profits were flatter as rising tide of inflows floats financial services boats

The Chicago-based amalgam of investments and software keeps growing the top line but reaping rewards from its semi-captive audience is still a work in progress

August 18, 2021 at 2:02 AM

Jeff Cruttenden let his dad concentrate on Acorns and his primary project became Say Technologies.

Acorns sure seems ripe for Robinhood's picking now that there are zero degrees of separation post-Say Technologies deal, analysts say

Two Say Technologies co-founders happen to be Acorns brass, too, and the two business models complement each other immensely, close observers say

August 17, 2021 at 3:50 AM

Andy Rachleff chooses a high-priced mutual fund under unusual circumstances to check the crypto box.

Wealthfront cedes to four years of investors clamoring for crypto by taking on expensive third-party vendor that Betterment rules out

The Redwood City, Calif., robo-advisor turned a hard 'no' into a soft 'yes' by dealing with Grayscale and its 200 basis-point-plus fees, which its robo rival in NYC -- also without a crypto path -- finds ludicrous.

August 14, 2021 at 2:20 AM

Alex Lebow (to right of fellow co-founder, Julio Fredes) : As part of the Robinhood family, we’ll be able to further our goal of creating a new ecosystem of ownership and engagement to benefit all investors and companies.

Robinhood tilts business model toward 'social media capital' with purchase of Say Technologies, which has a Reddit-like chat function and proxy software to execute rebellions

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based broker phenom's $140-million purchase of the NYC-based startup gets young investors to collaborate in chat, show up with questions in Fortune 5000 c-suites and use proxies -- and even class-action suits -- like pitchforks

August 13, 2021 at 1:41 AM

Rudy Adolf: Overall industry M&A momentum is very strong. It just happens to be that ours is even stronger.

CI Financial buys Budros to cinch $74 billion in U.S. assets--if pending deals close--but rival Focus Financial just surpassed $300 billion globally, its CEO says

The Toronto startup rollup has been dominant for about two years in RIA M&A, but Rudy Adolf says his value proposition is more multi-faceted.

August 11, 2021 at 3:12 AM

Sara Devereux: When yields are low and you’re looking to enhance returns, it’s a good time to consider active management.

Vanguard Group shows up as 'alpha' disciple with two new fixed-income fund launches as it surpasses PIMCO's $2 trillion with ex-Goldman Sachs partner now calling the shots

The $8 trillion Malvern, Pa. manager owns beta investing, but RIAs are demanding higher income -- hence market timing and cherry picking -- from their fixed-income allocation.

August 10, 2021 at 11:46 PM

Lorenzo Esparza: We just feel we aren't going to exist in virtual land. The idea of everyone connecting on zoom - you just  lose all of the value and luster."

Some RIAs are gearing up to reopen in bigger, better offices-- some at 'Covid' rates--to go face-to-face with clients with one big caveat: vaccinations mandatory

Firms like Gratus Capital in Atlanta and Manhattan West in Los Angeles are taking a calculated risk after realizing 'spirit' is lacking in home offices over Zoom.

August 10, 2021 at 1:43 AM

Suzanne Daly: RIA growth is really accelerating, and in a different manner [to IBDs].

Fidelity Investments' new model portfolio launch includes one with a 100/0 mix of stocks and bonds -- the most appealing of the bunch to RIAs

The $10.8 trillion firm in Boston launched its first models in 2018 and with 7,000 advisors using them it has adjusted allocations to reflect preferences it couldn't have foreseen

August 6, 2021 at 4:33 AM

Ken Fisher course corrected but did not flinch after 2019 uproar.

Fisher Investments surpassed $100 billion in AUM in early 2019, contained the flames of a late-2019 PR crisis and has a legit shot at hitting $200 billion in AUM this year

Ken Fisher's 4,000-employee RIA took 40 years to manage $100 billion in assets, hit a speed bump, then got back to business.

August 4, 2021 at 4:39 AM

Jeff Schwantz: Traditional risk profiling is typically inadequate.

Morningstar stomps into the 'risk score' game with big weapons, miniscule market share and 'love' from Aaron Klein

The Chicago manager of $244 billion -- and ratings whiz -- will de-nerdify FinaMetrica, use portfolio-side data and push out risk software to 180,000 desktops-- all for free

August 3, 2021 at 2:40 AM

Julia Huang made BodesWell a venture investment and a corporate business partner to bring more streamlined  financial planning back to American Express.

American Express slides back into the financial planning game 16 years after it sold off Ameriprise; expect success, experts say

AmEx is doing a U-turn to get back into financial planning now that competitors VISA and Mastercard are expressing an interest in the business.

August 2, 2021 at 2:52 AM

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