Headlines

    Older Women and Challenges of Wealth

    NYT article by Fran Hawthorne

    During her 35-year marriage, Jill DeVaney earned significantly less than her husband, a television executive, but always handled the family finances. So when the couple divorced in 2012, splitting assets worth “several million dollars,” she said, “I knew where the money was.”

    Now a semiretired interior designer in Chicago, Ms. DeVaney, 63, has hired a … Read More

    LegalZoom Products Will be Sold at a Discount Through Sam’s Club

    ABA Journal news by Debra Cassens Weiss

    Sam’s Club members will be able to get “exclusive savings” on LegalZoom products under a partnership announced last week between the discount retailer and the legal-document company.

    The companies plan to develop “multiple legal solutions” for Sam’s Club members, but initially members will have a couple options, according to a LegalZoom press release … Read More

    Wealthfront Closes A Big New Round As Competitors Crowd The Wealth Management Market

    TechCrunch article by Jonathan Shieber

    The automated wealth management firms (known as “robo-advisors”) that are bringing algorithmically enhanced services to the stodgy world of retirement planning are gearing up to go Terminator as competition intensifies.

    In what’s sure to be the first shot in a salvo of big new rounds for these (no-longer) startups, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Wealthfront has raised … Read More

    Schwab to Offer Free Robo-Advice

    Reuters news by Jed Horowitz

    Charles Schwab Corp confirmed on Monday that it will introduce free automated investment plans picked by computer algorithms in the first quarter of 2015.

    The program, to be marketed as Schwab Intelligent Portfolios to retail investors and independent investment advisers, will create portfolios of exchange-traded funds managed by Schwab and other providers.

    In foregoing management … Read More

    From Life Insurance Agents To Wealth Managers

    Forbes article by Russ Alan Prince 

    There was a time when life insurance agents provided life insurance, investment advisors provided money management, accountants did tax work, attorneys did legal work and so on and so forth.

    But, for certain types of wealthy clients, that time has passed. “Over the past few decades there’s been a pronounced trend toward the melding … Read More

    Winner Declared in South Dakota Best Trust Company Face off

    From MarketWatch

    Citi, Guggenheim Not “Too Big To Fail” after an independent trust company beats giants in ranking of best client service in South Dakota. Wealth Advisors Trust Company ranked #1 in trust client service per the recent poll.

    Money center banks and blue-ribbon wealth management complexes are out of favor as investment advisors and family offices seek partners in … Read More

    Inside Wall Street’s New Tug of War

    From Slate – article by Linette Lopez

    The financial crisis did curious things to Wall Street. Firms were gone overnight, once-powerful CEOs were never heard from again, and a whole new regime of power reorganized itself from the chaos.

    This is the kind of environment in which typically buttoned up trade publications write headlines like the following: “How Merrill Lynch’s … Read More

    Independent RIAs Join Forces to Take On the Big Trust Companies

    Institutional Investor article by Andrew Barber     

    National Advisors Trust supports registered investment advisers through a investing consortium that gives them an ownership stake.   

    National Advisors Trust Co. keeps building its wealth management footprint by offering registered investment advisers an alternative to traditional trust companies. On September 30 Cornerstone Advisors, an independent RIA headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, announced the launch of … Read More

    Janus Third-Quarter Profit Rises 25% as Bill Gross Joins Firm

    Bloomberg News by Mary Childs

    Janus Capital Group Inc. (JNS), the firm that hired bond legend Bill Gross last month, said profit rose 25 percent in the third quarter as assets rose from a year earlier, boosting fees for managing money.

    Net income at Janus increased 25 percent to $40.9 million, or 22 cents a share, from $32.6 million, or … Read More

    Five Life Insurance Mistakes That Can Haunt You

    Forbes article by Deborah L. Jacobs

    With Halloween just around the corner, children’s thoughts turn to candy and costumes. Their parents and grandparents should be focusing on more macabre matters — like the life insurance policies they bought (or are thinking of buying) to secure the financial future of these little ghosts and goblins if a key provider dies.

    Though … Read More

Features

Oscar de la Renta Leaves Big Hole in $300 Million Family Empire

The designer was an institution but it might be time for his heirs to make the hard choice about whether the family business can continue in its current form. An eleventh-hour succession plan may not be enough to perpetuate his legacy.

When legendary glamour merchant Oscar de la Renta vowed never to retire, it became inevitable that his death would … Read More

Nevada Joins South Dakota at the Top of the Dynasty Trust State Rankings

Once again, we’ve ranked the dynasty trust jurisdictions in order of the protection they provide wealthy families looking for a place to shield money for more than a few generations. This year the bulge bracket is shifting – and we even see change near the top.

The 3rd Annual Dynasty Trust State Rankings Chart has been released and can … Read More

Bill Gross Continues To Cost Pimco Billions In Lost AUM

Love or hate the Bond King, any firm that lives by the star manager can only suffer once Gross turns into Grossgate. Institutions were already sick of the gossip, now the fast money has no reason to stay.

Three weeks after Bill Gross bailed on the fund complex he built, the flow of pension fund money out of Pimco keeps … Read More

Nate Silver Builds Democrats a Statistical Coffin and Markets a Lifeboat

Nervous investors of every political persuasion can take comfort knowing that the pollster Monte Carlo now strongly favors a Republican upset next month.

If the typical advisor had a crystal ball anywhere near as accurate as Nate Silver’s, everyone would have sold and gone away back in September. Instead, it’s been a volatile four weeks and it’s probably going to … Read More

George Clooney Takes $220 Million Plunge With No Prenup In Sight

His people vehemently deny all rumors of a pre-wedding division of marital property but choice of venue and residence may have left the notoriously divorce-leery star with few other options.

Once George Clooney announced he was actually getting married again, even the gossip channels naturally assumed it took an ironclad premarital contract to seal the deal.

But after a few … Read More

Bill Gross: Time Bomb or Rainmaker?

Janus shareholders seem convinced Gross will work his trillion-dollar magic for them, but with the SEC checking the bond king’s math, vague “fundamental differences” may turn into a noose around his new firm’s neck.

Judging from the market reaction, Bill Gross jumping ship from Pimco was the best thing that has happened to Janus in a long, long time.

Shares … Read More

What Do Clients Want? Survey Results with Action Items

Recently a 2013 survey run by the Spectrem Group came across my desk. The firm conducts online interviews with affluent households in the US. The interviews cover approximately:

  • 1,500 mass affluent households
  • 1,000 millionaire households and
  • 500 ultra-high-net-worth households

These finding are essentially your blueprint for how to attract and retain more clients. The most interesting findings from the survey

Read More

Tom Clancy Estate Smolders as $83 Million Marital Infighting Flares

Techno-thriller king tried to write a happy ending for both halves of his blended family, but there seem to be just enough pages of plot missing to distract the executors from looking out for vulnerable assets.

Tom Clancy was one of the behemoths of modern publishing, parlaying a flair for describing military procedure into a multimedia empire.

Unfortunately, one of … Read More

$200 Million FolioDynamix Buy Proves Wealth Platforms Are In Play

A few months ago, the outsourced portfolio provider was nibbling at its rivals. Now the firm itself has accepted a takeout offer from an unexpected direction. Who is Actua and what do they want?

Cut through the headlines and the acquisition of FolioDynamix looks like a little more than the usual bolt-on buyout to achieve scale.

For one thing, the … Read More

The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Wealth Management Platform

When assets are scarce, costs for portfolio management, research, trading, client service and compliance remain fixed. A turnkey investment management platform, with fees based on assets under management, can reduce costs and unlock strategic flexibility.

Could the post-credit crunch death spiral experienced by so many wealth management firms have been avoided with an outsourced investment management solution?

For example, consider Read More

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