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What an Elite Group of Younger Advisors Has to Say
by Bob Veres
I recently served as a facilitator for the annual NexGen conference, this year held on the campus of Augustana University in Moline, IL. I was able to gain insight into the very different way that the financial planning landscape looks through the eyes of younger advisors just starting their careers - and in many cases, from the bottom end of a planning firm's organizational chart.
New Research on How to Choose Portfolio Return Assumptions
by Wade Pfau
Care must be taken with portfolio return assumptions, as small differences compound into dramatically different financial outcomes over a lifetime. My research shows just how big those differences are and how they vary in the pre- and post-retirement phases.
How $500 Can Propel Your Online Presence
by Dan Richards
Summer is traditionally a slow time for many advisors. If your online skills aren't up to snuff, the next eight weeks may be the best chance to ramp them up that you''ll see for another 12 months.
How to Make Happiness Happen
by Daniel Solin
The strategies for becoming happier are not difficult to understand. However, changing entrenched patterns of behavior can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you achieve greater happiness in your life.
Five Social-Media Timesavers
by Sarah Scorgie
Save time on your social-media efforts by planning ahead and using online tools.
Fielding Complaints About Fees
by Beverly Flaxington
We are telling clients who are closing in on retirement to keep a significant percentage in cash. One client asked us what he was paying us for if we recommend "the bank or the mattress." How do we respond to something like this?
Our Most Read Article from Last Week:
Is the Equity Premium Getting Smaller?
by Michael Edesess
An estimate of the expected return on equities in excess of the risk-free rate seems to be anybody's guess. It would be nice to have a sound theory that tells us how to estimate it.
Highlights from Market Commentaries
Here are the top three commentaries from last week:
The Bond Trap
The American financial establishment has an incredible ability to celebrate the inconsequential while ignoring the vital. Last week, while the Wall Street Journal pondered how the Fed may set interest rates three to four years in the future (an exercise that David Stockman rightly compared to debating how many angels could dance on the head of a pin), the media almost completely ignored one of the most chilling pieces of financial news that I have ever seen.
The Federal Reserve's policy of quantitative easing has produced a historically prolonged period of speculative yield-seeking by investors starved for safe return. The problem with simply concluding that quantitative easing can do this forever is that even speculative assets have to compete with zero. When a safe zero return is above the medium or long-term return that one can estimate for a very risky asset, the rationale for continuing to hold the risky asset becomes purely dependent on expectations of immediate short-term price gains.