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Showing posts from August, 2017

The Editorial Desk

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The Internet has changed our information access in many ways.How do we assimilate the information overload?There is an APP for that but we need to create our own to insure our sanity and to identify opinions that meet our sensibilities.Newspapers, TV news and investment firms have an embedded process to fact check and synthesize the news and opinions that they believe deserve our attention.They are not perfect but we can learn from their procedures and mistakes to arrive at “All The News That’s Fit for ME”.

Page One
Feeling overwhelmed by my social media feeds and the network news I decided to revisit my favorite film of 2011 - Page One.The film chronicles the dramatic impact that the Internet is having on the newspaper industry but most importantly for me it emphasizes what makes The Times great – their editorial process.I need that and after re-watching the documentary it hit me that our president and our wealth advisory firms need it too.I’ll start with President Trump and be brie…

Consensus

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The consensus opinion has a loud and seductive voice.We must be aware of what the consensus views are, but we also need to be able to evaluate the longevity and veracity of the opinions.This week we will take a look at current and historic consensus opinions.
Stock Market
Whenever I get into a cab or go to a social event and tell people what I do they inevitably ask me what I think about The Market?My answer of I don’t know is a conversation killer.The stock market has dominated the consciousness of the public starting in the 1970’s and exploding today with the advent of CNBC and the Internet.In the seventies the investment consensus was set by institutional investors who created the Nifty Fifty of Avon, Eastman Kodak, Polaroid and Xerox.It was a boom/bust that ended with most of the stocks being down more than 70%. The current consensus is driven by hedge funds and mutual funds that are compensated by their ability to out perform the market and each other.The consensus has created a ne…

The Fiduciary Fallacy

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The standard news release that advisors make when going independent is beginning to sound rote.“I have left Wall Street to start my own firm where I will be a fiduciary.This will allow me to show you unlimited investment options without any institutional constraints.  I’m a fiduciary now and have the obligation to always act in your best interest.” This positioning is a fallacy because there is much more to the fiduciary standard.The other items aren’t as compelling but they are essential for new fiduciaries.

Tools
Most independent wealth advisory firms service mass affluent clients a fact confirmed by the recent FA survey.We are in the early innings of a Gold Rush in asset flows to independent advisors, but do they all need the same picks and shovels to find the gold?The clients and the fiduciary police don’t think the answer is yes.
The products and services can be broken down to three major categories.
Investment solutions Consolidated Reporting Alternative investment needs*
* Ultra a…