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Articles published 12/2023


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The tide is rising and the fog is lifting on the RIA industry.

2023 was great RIA year and nobody really noticed, setting up 2024 for a more visceral reap

Pushing toward $10 trillion on multiple rising tides -- and with much creative destruction sorted out -- the RIA channel, ethos and movement are succeeding quietly in plain sight

December 30, 2023 at 1:39 AM

In March 2023, Charles 'Chuck' Schwab (left) and Walt Bettinger penned an unprecedented letter to assure investors.

Charles Schwab Corp. gets over 'hump' after furious bond rally takes bite out Schwab Bank's $19.6 billion in unrealized losses, though debt overhang could still take a decade to erase

The Westlake, Texas, brokerage's stock plunged 33% last Spring, but has clawed back as unrealized losses fall $4 billion on possibility of Fed rate cut in 2024.

December 28, 2023 at 2:01 AM

Aaron Schumm: We got to the point of saying okay this makes sense, let's make it happen.
December 22, 2023 at 12:59 AM

Huatei is a Chinese financial colossus that saw the U.S. wealth market as ripe but may have second thoughts.

Huatei Securities is ready to cash out of AssetMark, after it hits $100-billion of AUM and $2-billion in market cap, according to reports

The Chinese financial conglomerate may unload all of the $1.4-billion stake it bought for $768 million in 2016

December 21, 2023 at 4:18 AM

Amy Richardson: It was all of the things I loved at Schwab but on a more intimate basis.

A canary in the coal mine, Amy Richardson left Charles Schwab & Co. for an RIA -- before the 2,000 layoffs -- now a robust job market is saving the Schwab diaspora, she says

The former Schwab director wants former colleagues to know life exists after Schwab and good job opportunities are plentiful in the financial services sector.

December 20, 2023 at 1:52 AM

Ryan Eisenman: It’s more grunt work, but 100% worthwhile grunt work.

Three 'RIA' executives headline $20-million VC raise to address an alts problem so annoying and tedious that existing alts players are cheering them on

Jason Wenk, Steve Lockshin and Marc Spilker know that Arch can can get alts administration of out of the shoebox and that high-flown 'alts' investors like Joe Lonsdale align.

December 19, 2023 at 3:01 AM

Joanna Rotenberg: I’ve traveled 20,000-plus miles across the U.S. and internationally.

Joanna Rotenberg is departing Fidelity Investments after only two years, writing that she traveled 20,000 miles and successfully split her retail division into wealth and brokerage units

At her hire, analysts were adamant the head of Fidelity retail had 'big shoes to fill' to replace legendary Kathleen Murphy and her task of 'digitiizing' retail was no small ask

December 16, 2023 at 2:22 AM

Bill Crager: Our industry's ability to deliver greater advice required an automated connected technology platform.

Envestnet finally may dump Yodlee, says a Bloomberg report, but either way it remains a 'wasting' asset as regulators crack down, an analyst says

Former CEO Jud Bergman made daring move in 2015 with expensive Yodlee purchase to lift the outsourcer into the big leagues but has proven mostly to be an albatross, at least to earnings

December 15, 2023 at 2:18 AM

Eric Poirier: We’re investing more than $100 million a year in R&D – an investment that can outstrip everyone combined.

Addepar hits $2 trillion of RIA assets and $5 trillion of 'overseen' assets but still burns through $100 million annually for R&D, with an eye to $250 trillion of global consumer assets

The Mountain View, Calif. performance reporting software company claims it will now offer a warm shoulder to $100-million RIAs, though 'Big Three,' Orion, Tamarac and Black Diamond don't see them at that table right now, say industry experts.

December 14, 2023 at 3:25 AM

Bill Capuzzi: 'The financial industry is in the early innings of a massive digital transformation.'

Left at the IPO altar once, Apex -- replete with two new TD Ameritrade RIA executives -- tries again to go public, but this time it's not counting on a SPAC partner

The Dallas reboot of Penson's clearing company wants to pay down $120 million in debt and continue to make its front end as robust as its back end.

December 13, 2023 at 1:50 AM

SoFi planned to put 'all your ambitions into an app,' but now will refer you to another app for crypto.

With Bitcoin soaring but mood still sour, SoFi shutters crypto unit and RIAs stay on sidelines, with SEC non-approval of ETFs as scapegoat

The San Francisco digital banking firm private-labeled Coinbase in 2019, but now the asset looks too risky because a misstep could harm bread-and-butter banking franchise.

December 12, 2023 at 3:13 AM

Eduardo Repetto: Most factor strategies do not add much value.

Amid crumbling 'factor' fund pricing power, Fidelity slashes factor ETF fees; low-factor-price Avantis soars to $30 billion in third year, and new study says factors are barely a factor in returns

Factor funds failed to outperform the S&P 500 over the last decade, and three out of six categories proved more volatile, according to a new study. Popularity creates a performance problem, analysts say.

December 8, 2023 at 10:55 AM

Alan Moore: It means prioritizing your partner as your most important relationship.

'Money dates' catch on as RIA advice concept for under 40 couples to save wracked marriages, but a therapist offers caveats because it's never all about the money

Advisors are going deep into their bag of tricks because money-related breakups are trending up; debt-ridden 'millennials' are caught between frozen salaries, high interest rates and their penchant for credit card spending.

December 7, 2023 at 4:19 AM

Marc Cordover: Not-for-profit organizations, specifically, continue to face a range of challenges.

Vanguard's rampant re-engineering binge now includes handing off $60-billion AUA TAMP-like unit to Mercer

The $7.6-trillion, Malvern, Pa., asset manager did not explain the sale's purpose but alluded to challenges keeping pace with 'increasingly complex rules.

December 6, 2023 at 2:21 AM

John Khoury: While I was at Schwab... much of the investment management was built to scale or handled by third parties.

Charles Schwab & Co. broker with $1 billion book breaks away 'amicably'

John Khoury spent 14 years in Schwab Chestnut Hill and Framingham branches; he will only keep his assets at Schwab

December 4, 2023 at 10:33 PM

Schwab can keep its debt ratio low by raising funds by selling shares at favorable prices.

After Charles Schwab Corp. shares soar 13% in three days, it files S-3 with SEC to sell shares -- a new liquidity option after debt raise and massive belt tightening

Since the March banking debacle, Schwab has borrowed billions but not sold equity; now it has a shelf registration in its back pocket as it shares climb from super lows

December 2, 2023 at 12:42 AM

Scott Smith: In reality, with so many online options people just don’t even know where to start.

New Cerulli study shows 'absolutely surprising' finding: Human advisors have drubbed the self-directed investing sector despite radical advances in DIY tools

The Cerulli findings have a caveat for humans -- that just-in-time advice to investors whose assets grow to $500,000 may be too late to win the account

December 1, 2023 at 2:15 AM

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