The Securities and Exchange Commission wants to hear from a wide range of market participants at a roundtable on protecting retail investors from fraud. The event is scheduled for Wednesday at the SEC's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
A 14-year study by RAND examined older Americans' employment and retirement decisions in conjunction with personality and cognition tests. The study found connections between retirement decisions and cognitive ability, extroversion, conscientiousness and agreeableness.
Allocating a portion of a retirement portfolio that is holding bonds to a single-premium annuity offers several advantages, according to an analysis by John Walton. "Deferred annuities, especially longer than 10 years, provide the opportunity for guaranteed equity-like returns," he writes.
State Street Global Advisors has overhauled four exchange-traded funds implementing smart-beta strategies, turning them into straightforward single-country funds tracking indexes managed by Solactive. The SPDR Solactive Canada ETF, the SPDR Solactive Germany ETF, the SPDR Solactive Japan ETF and the SPDR Solactive United Kingdom ETF have lowered expense ratios to 0.14%.
Jerry Dias, president of Canadian trade union Unifor, says a deal with the US on the North American Free Trade Agreement is unlikely this week, although negotiators are still in discussion. As pressure mounts to resolve outstanding issues, US Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue says failure to reach agreement could jeopardize a US deal with Mexico.
Exposure to the S&P 500 among hedge funds focusing on long-short equity strategies appears to be at a record level, while returns of risk-parity and statistical-arbitrage funds are approaching levels seen before February's sell-off. Those factors raise concerns that a future sell-off could be worsened if hedge funds and quantitative investors offload their exposure to US stocks, according to JPMorgan Chase.
A white paper from MassMutual reviews the issues defined-benefit plan sponsors should address when considering the transfer of pension liabilities to an annuity purchased from an insurance company. Because pension risk transfer is a "fiduciary act," the plan sponsor must consider the "quality and diversification of the annuity provider's investment portfolio, and level of the insurer's capital and surplus," the paper says.
Steven Maijoor, chairman of the European Securities and Markets Authority, says regulators must strike a balance between risks and opportunities posed by technological innovation. Artificial intelligence lets regulators exert greater control and lets firms comply more efficiently with requirements, Maijoor says in a conference address.
Bryce Sanders, president of Perceptive Business Solutions, offers approaches advisors can take when a client is unsatisfied with pricing. These include unbundling, discounting and pay as you go.
Firms are adopting financial-planning technology based on goals, rather than separating software based on goals and on cash flow, according to a report from Aite Group. Many firms are also no longer charging for writing a plan, report author Isabella Fonseca says.