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Articles written by By Lisa Shidler


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Vanguard Group is a bricks, mortar and people company that just introduced a retail robo-advisor that lives on a server and may do a better job.

Ten months after it signaled it would, Vanguard Group unleashes its advice robot with analysts sure that 15 basis points and no-nonsense brand will net billions in no time

Almost out of its pilot stage, the Malvern, Pa.-based giant's 'Digital Advisor' shambles onto the robo scene almost a decade late but may catch Schwab and Betterment anyway with its pristine plainness, analysts predict

August 1, 2020 – 6:22 PM

Betsy Moszeter: It's not obvious why the DOL is proposing a rule specifically for ESG.

A big wince as Trump's DOL presses efforts to erase Obama-era ESG guidance, with tough new rule to curb do-good funds in ERISA accounts; critics cry 'politics'

Lawyers see crackdown as 'a solution in search of a problem' in regard to Labor Dept. pleas in proposed rule of danger that meeting environmental and social justice goals could harm returns, hence retiree security.

July 1, 2020 – 8:18 PM

Rob Foregger: I have no question that they ran a great auction process.

IPO dreams die, but Personal Capital gets '$1 billion' price tag from life insurance giant's 401(k) unit that includes a de facto discount from early-bird VC dollars

Empower's sister company has built a 25% stake in Personal Capital since 2016 and test drove the company with two board members.

July 1, 2020 – 2:26 AM

Advisor Patrick Ortman broke the silence about lack of black advisors in financial services

How an RIA's tweets pointed out the obvious--the lack of diversity in the mostly white RIA industry-- and opened the door to a dialogue on creating more minority opportunity

Patrick Ortman, a solo RIA who grew up among Black siblings, set out to congratulate RIA firms with diverse staffs, but a simple search found just the opposite.

June 25, 2020 – 1:51 AM

Walt Bettinger promises Schwab will hold 'unique' market position.

Odds spike to 100% Schwab and TD Ameritrade close merger, cinch added $9 billion in synergies, Morningstar analyst says, after DOJ dismisses anti-trust concerns and Schwab shareholders vote 'yes' hours later

Deemed a non-monopolistic duo, TD Ameritrade and Schwab shares soar, closing timetable moves up and Schwab dilutes its own stock with float of 300 million shares

June 5, 2020 – 2:17 AM

Marcia Wagner:  The new rules may appear more lax, but the Obama Administration rules may have been overkill.

New 'anti-regulatory' DOL Fiduciary Rule figures to keep $10-trillion IRA market under the IRS, allow some conflicted advice; does Rule's revival from dead presage Joe Biden presidency?

The rush to enact rewritten DOL Fiduciary Rule is a 'mystery' given Wall Street's presumed preference for defaulting to status quo; has presidential polling adverse to Donald Trump restored a sense of urgency?

June 4, 2020 – 2:28 AM

The TD Ameritrade headquarters building has only a 25% chance of remaining so and it's starting to look like August for when its walls are (at least figuratively) breached.

The odds are now 75% that Charles Schwab Corp. swallows TD Ameritrade Holding, says Morningstar, a probability Wall Street math and internal memos seem to support

With Thursday set for TD and Schwab virtual shareholder votes, August is circled on the calendar for a 'Schwabitrade' close, memos suggest, with the TD brand sticking around for ... quite a while

June 2, 2020 – 2:15 AM

Abby Johnson:  '[We] are now joining with several financial institutions to accelerate the availability of a secure, transparent and more reliable network.'

Tired of having their screens scraped, Schwab and Fidelity launch API initiatives to curtail the practice -- rewarding some, but not all scrapers with cleaner data

Opening up their APIs gives both powerhouses the ability to share data while also making it more secure -- it also puts them back in the driver's seat in choosing who gets it.

May 29, 2020 – 4:45 AM

Peter D'Arrigo: 'Yodlee... is starting to, or actually beginning of last year, running into some headwinds in terms of growth, particularly within that analytics segment.

Envestnet cautions about Yodlee subscription 'headwinds' and the FTC asking more Yodlee-data questions as the company recorded a blowout revenue quarter

With the Redwood City-based analytics unit's possible sale put to bed for now, the Chicago firm reveals new worries about data privacy and competition but Envestnet proper's automated platform is the bomb in pandemic shutdown

May 19, 2020 – 2:48 AM

Interim TD Ameritrade CEO Steve Boyle isn't phoning it in [except literally] though his upside is presumed to be capped.

Amid 800-person hiring spree, TD Ameritrade interim CEO Steve-Boyle delivers sparkling results, underscores quick 100% work-at-home transition-- and calls Schwab merger efforts 'critical' and on-schedule

The Omaha, Neb. discount broker is luring net new assets as if the TD brand will be around forever, and no staff member will ever become redundant, even if its CEO's tenure will presumably self-expire

May 1, 2020 – 8:39 PM

Walt Bettinger is abiding by what Homeland Security demands, the firm says.

Why Charles Schwab staffers are still waving COVID-19 red flags even after Walt Bettinger capitulated to allow most of them to work at home

Schwab employees cite outdated phone systems, using vacation days to stay safe and confusion, but firm says CEO is contending with unrevealed Homeland Security regs that supersede germ fears

April 1, 2020 – 3:44 AM

Walt Bettinger: Incredibly dedicated Schwabbies are providing superb service to clients.

Under withering staff pressure, Walt Bettinger course corrects to shut all Schwab branches and to let Charles Schwab Corp. non-branch employees work from home

The Schwab CEO is also coughing up a $1,000 comp check to each staffer and the company is still contending with makeshift technology to enable employees to work from home, but it may have had a breakthrough today -- making its choices easier

March 19, 2020 – 1:21 AM

Walter Bettinger:  Some employees who currently telecommute, may be required to work on-site as we manage our remote access capacity.

As COVID-19 crisis grows, Schwab charts own course, orders office workers to stay put, while Fidelity, other firms urge employees to work from home

Fidelity CEO Abby Johnson tells 45,000 staff to stay home, if possible; Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger says it's neither practical nor technologically feasible for most of his 19,000 staff to telecommute

March 16, 2020 – 4:09 PM

Adam Birenbaum, flanked by Michael Kitces (left) and Jeffrey Levine: 'This is literally maybe the largest talent story ever in our little independent RIA industry,' says Birenbaum
March 12, 2020 – 1:45 PM

Joseph Martel: We think they can afford to take more equity risk.

T. Rowe Price takes on the risk of its target date fund retirees outliving their savings -- by jacking up equity exposure even on the glide path

The Baltimore patriarch is using both actuarial and behavioral science as the basis for the contrarian move whose downside is accentuated as coronavirus gives the approach a rough start

March 2, 2020 – 6:13 PM

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