Female investors present an opportunity for financial planners and investment advisers, and industry professionals are trying to learn more about women's financial habits and to add more female clients, write Matthew Sommer, CFA, CFP®; Han Na Lim, Ph.D.; and Maurice MacDonald, Ph.D. Their survey of 1,011 men and women in the US found no evidence of same-gender bias but did find that women are more likely to choose a financial planner than an investment adviser.
Deloitte projects a $2.5 trillion retirement shortfall due to "leakage," or loans from 401(k)s. "This potential retirement shortfall is likely to produce a considerable shift in standards of living during a period where participants are lacking employment income and relying upon their nest eggs," according to Deloitte.
Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols of The Oechsli Institute offer two "different, but very workable strategies" for advisory businesses interested in niche markets. They suggest going all-in with a single niche or developing project-based niches to avoid limiting opportunities.
The first three quarters of 2018 have seen 90 cryptocurrency-focused hedge funds open, and the full-year total could be as high as 120, accounting for 20% of the expected overall total of new hedge funds, according to a Crypto Fund Research report. Cryptocurrency-focused funds represented 16% of hedge funds that opened last year and less than 3% of funds that opened in 2016, data show.
Hedge Fund Research data show returns for hedge funds at nearly 1.5% into positive territory through September, while the HFRI Asset Weighted Composite Index reached 1.68%. For the same period in 2017, the fund-weighted composite index showed returns of 5.7%, and the asset-weighted composite index was at 4.34%.
Purchasing an annuity is an option for people who don't have a source of guaranteed income to pay for assisted living, says financial planner Scott Tucker. He notes that a fixed annuity can act like a pension in such cases.
Wealth manager Janice Hobbs has emphasized to her clients the importance of including annuities and structured notes in their portfolios in order to be ready for the next stock market downturn. "We like to build in guaranteed income," she says.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that around 45% of Medicare Advantage plans, including those with prescription drug coverage, received at least a four-star rating for 2019, up from 44% for 2018, while about 31% of stand-alone prescription drug plans received four stars or higher. About 74% of enrollees in MA plans with prescription drug coverage are expected to be covered by plans with at least a four-star rating.
State securities regulators' enforcement actions against unregistered advisors shot up 24% last year, compared with 9% for registered advisors, according to a report from the North American Securities Administrators Association. "It would not be surprising to see a sustained high level of investigations and actions against unregistered individuals and firms in the coming months," the report said.
The positive customer experience companies such as Apple, Starbucks and SoulCycle are known for can be achieved in the financial advisory industry, Wealthcare Management Services President David Petoskey writes. He suggests advisors establish a consistent platform, formalize client experience and ensure staffers act as brand ambassadors.