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Financial Planning: What’s in store for model portfolios?

By Whitfield Athey October 9, 2019 – The concept of asset allocation models isn’t new by any means, but how asset managers deliver this to clients has never carried as much importance as it does today. Fee compression and commoditization of investment products over the past decade are threatening already slim margins in asset management. There are two key components asset managers must get right.

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ThinkAdvisor: Are Active ETFs a Threat to Mutual Funds?

By Burton Keller August 5, 2019 – While mutual funds may still dominate the U.S. market, ETFs are gaining traction quickly. According to the 2019 Investment Company Institute Factbook, at the end of 2018, the U.S. domestic mutual funds market amounted to $17.7 trillion in total net assets. At the end of 2018, US domestic ETFs had $3.4 trillion in total net assets, which is double the assets in ETFs from just five years ago. Index domestic equity ETFs are attracting one and a half times the net inflows of index domestic equity mutual funds since 2009. Clearly, ETFs have become very popular investments in a rather short period of time and are continuing to grow.

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Ignites: Best Starting Place for AI in Ops: E-Mail Clutter

By Whitfield Athey May 30, 2019 – Despite grand predictions for AI’s impact on the industry, most operations professionals see little difference in their day-to-day from five or even 10 years ago. The sticking point for many is that their organization doesn’t know where to begin. But the best place is literally staring them in the face for most of the working day: e-mail.

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Ignites: Slash-and-Burn Budgeting Can’t Save Managers’ Profits: Baillie Gifford

By Jill Gregorie March 11, 2019 – The investment management “gravy train” is rapidly losing steam, and shops need to spend more money — not less — if they hope to stay on track, according to a Baillie Gifford executive. “Companies that respond to customer pressure by cutting their costs rather than investing in their capabilities will, in our view, merely hasten their journey to irrelevance,” wrote Tom Coutts, a partner and portfolio manager at Baillie Gifford, in a first-quarter 2019 commentary.

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ThinkAdvisor: Target Date Fund Evolution Now Awaiting Tech Revolution

By Whitfield Athey December 18, 2018 – Morningstar’s head of retirement research recently outlined why individuals and advisors should avoid “mixing in” additional investments alongside target date fund (TDF) commitments. Likening it to adding extra eggs to a cake recipe, he emphasized that these improvisations, however well intentioned, invariably alter anticipated outcomes.

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