Research Magazine January 2012


  • The Market Really is More Volatile Today

    WARNING: THE LIFEGUARD’S NOT ON duty. Swim at your own risk. That’s the way investment advisor Richard Bregman views today’s market. “If you go into the water, there might be riptides, sharks,” says the CEO of MJB Asset Management, a New York-based firm that manages a little over $100 million in...

  • Health Care Is the New Wealth Care

    WITH THE OLDEST BABY BOOMERS turning 66 this year, many are worried sick about the rising cost of health care. And no wonder. Health care expenses in retirement can run hundreds of thousands of dollars — not exactly pocket change.

  • Retirement Master

    At 31, Marcia Mantell was thrilled to step into retirement. Not her own — but the burgeoning financial services’ retirement industry. The year was 1992.


  • The Debt Retirees Owe to Fibonacci

    You might have heard of Leonardo Pisano filius (“family,” in Latin) Bonacci, a.k.a. Fibonacci (1170-1250), probably the most famous mathematician of the Middle Ages.

  • Alone With Your Thoughts

    Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to be a financial advisor? The money, the exotic “award” vacations and the freedom of running your own business are just a few of the reasons many are drawn to the career. It’s one of those jobs that outsiders look at and say,...

  • Europe’s Storm, and Ours

    Contrary to the widespread view that the European debt crisis is acting as a drag on the U.S. economic recovery, it actually has been beneficial for the United States. The euro-zone debt crisis has given Washington a respite by boosting the safe-haven premium of Treasury bonds and reducing the debt-service...

  • Target: Wall Street

    The question is not whether the financial industry will encounter a volatile and difficult political climate this election year. The question is just how tough that climate will be.

  • The Very Best

    In my July article in Research, I published an appeal to advisors to fill out my “Best Practices 2011” survey. Over 380 FAs responded. To everyone who helped: Thankyouverymuch!!

Editor's Note

  • The Joy of Wakefulness

    Waking up in 2012 from the nightmare of the past years’ financial crisis is a bewildering experience. Like Egypt’s Pharaoh in the Book of Genesis, did seven emaciated cows really eat seven fat cows? Do we still have two and a half lean years to go? Sitting up in our...


  • Do Indexes Matter?

    One of the driving forces behind the exploding number of new exchange-traded products (ETPs) is the exploding number of new indexes. And since the bulk of the $1.1 trillion ETP marketplace is still linked to products with underlying indexes, advisors better know their indexes. Do you go with a traditional...

  • A Warren Buffett ETF?

    We know that financial product developers have thought about introducing a “Warren Buffett ETF,” not because the investing public really needs it, but because there’s no shortage of dubious ideas. Interestingly, though, financial marketers might not have to invent a Buffett ETF because one already exists.

  • Muni Funds with Punch

    The Van Eck Global lineup of municipal bond ETFs continues to attract assets and accolades.

  • PIMCO Launches Aussie

    PIMCO launched the first of three bond ETFs targeting individual countries. The PIMCO Australia Bond Index Fund (AUD) was introduced for trading and it will follow investment grade debt from Australia.

  • Who’s Really ‘Rich’?

    A national debate about “rich” versus “poor” has erupted. We’re told the contest is between the top 1 percent of all income earners against the bottom 99 percent. We are also told the top 1 percent represents not just the dreadful essence of evil, but that they are “rich.” What...

  • As Clients Focus on Portfolios, Advisors Make Minor Adjustments

    Russell Investments’ latest quarterly survey of U.S. financial advisors found that many advisors are telling their clients to expect continued market volatility throughout 2012. Despite these market concerns, though, few advisors are making major shifts in portfolios. Many, however, are turning to mutual-fund groups and other organizations for research...

  • Fidelity Studies Impact of Pension Protection Act

    Fidelity Investments says recent analysis of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 found that more than half (51 percent) of the nearly 12 million 401(k) participants in its plans are in a plan that offers auto enrollment, up from just 16 percent five years ago. Also, the...

  • Vanguard Highlighted in Plan-Sponsor Study

    Retirement-plan sponsors surveyed in 2011 by the Boston Research Group ranked Vanguard as the top firm for overall satisfaction, value for cost, and investment performance, according to Vanguard, which notes this is the third year in a row that it has achieved the No. 1 ranking for overall satisfaction.

  • McCann Is Top UBS Americas Exec

    UBS recently made Bob McCann head of UBS’ operations in the Americas and reassigned Philip Lofts to the post of chief risk officer for the Swiss-based firm. Maureen Miskovic, who had been chief risk officer for UBS since early 2010, left the firm.

  • Raymond James Names New Advisor Execs

    Raymond James named a new executive to run its independent-advisor channel as Dick Averitt prepares to retire, and the company also announced a new head for its employee-advisor channel as Dennis Zank moves into the COO slot at the parent company.

  • RBC Wealth CEO Taft on Advisor Growth, Regulation

    John Taft heads RBC Wealth Management in the United States and recently stepped down as chairman of SIFMA, the financial-services lobbying group. Based in Minneapolis, he has worked in the industry since 1981 and recently spoke with Research about challenges confronting both the industry and the firm he leads.

  • Commonwealth Financial Boosts Platform

    Commonwealth Financial Network said it recently added a number of improvements to its online portfolio platform Investor360°. These enhancements, according to the independent broker-dealer, boost the scope of asset information on the platform and allow its affiliated representatives to look at more performance reporting and daily gain/loss data, while also...