According to new survey data from SoFi, more than a third (37%) of investors said they made impulsive investment decisions due to heightened volatility in the market last year, with younger investors significantly more likely to do so. Out of the 1,000 investors surveyed by SoFi, 29% said they bought a lot of investments, 17% said they sold a lot of investments, and 55% did not buy or sell. While impulsive trading during heightened market volatility is normal, it’s exactly what financial experts say not to do as it can hurt your portfolio over the long run. Instead, investors should stick to their investment plan and stay the course. Joel Mittelman, president of Mittelman Wealth Management, previously told Money.com that “Ironically, during a period of extreme volatility is exactly when you need the discipline and structure of some investment plan. Unfortunately, that's often when people throw the plan in the garbage." Investors are often unsuccessful at predicting the market, so staying invested is typically the best way to optimize returns over the long term. Plus, when you stick to your plan, you won’t miss out on the eventual recovery.
Finsum: A recent survey by SoFi found that 37% of investors made impulsive decisions due to the heightened market volatility last year, the exact opposite experts recommend.
While ESG continues to face backlash on the political front, this is still a strong demand for sustainability from investors. For example, recent research from Ernst and Young (EY) found that sustainability experience at the board level in Europe has increased over the last six months as companies respond to investor demand. The latest EY Boardroom Monitor found that 32% of companies currently have board directors with professional experience or expertise in sustainability. While that figure may seem low, it’s a big jump from EY’s Boardroom Monitor in June, when only 19% of boards monitored listed sustainability expertise. The jump in experience corresponds with EY’s research that showed sustainability was a dealbreaker for investing for a majority of investors. Over fifty percent (51%) of investors said boardroom experience in sustainability has a ‘significant’ impact in terms of making a company an attractive investment. Twenty-two percent went further, saying it has a “highly significant” impact on a company’s investment case. Other findings from EY’s research revealed that sustainability experience is much more prevalent among female board members. While the current gender split in financial services boardrooms is 58% male and 42% female, 72% of board directors with experience in sustainability are female.
Finsum:According to research from Ernst and Young, sustainability experience in the board room jumped from 19% in June to 32% as companies respond to investor demand.
LPL recently announced that it nabbed two advisors from Securities America. Eric Fenton and Rodney Wangler, who operate as Fenton Wangler Financial, and are based in Vancouver, Washington, will link up with the JFC Advisor Network, which conducts brokerage and advisory business through LPL Financial. The duo managed a combined $300 million in advisory, brokerage, and retirement plan assets at Securities America. Fenton has been in the industry since 1989. He started with Mutual Service Corporation but has also been affiliated with The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Pruco Securities Corporation, Mony Securities Corporation, Carillon Investments, Sunset Financial Services, SII Investments, and Securities America. Wangler started his career in 1996 with Pruco Securities Corporation. He has also been registered with Mony Securities Corporation, Carillon Investments, Sunset Financial Services, SII Investments, and Securities America. In a statement, Fenton had this to say about the move, “LPL invests heavily in its innovative technology, which is critical to keep pace in this ever-changing environment. We recognized that we needed a platform such as LPL’s ClientWorks where everything is connected, making it easier to do business. Our clients will also appreciate Account View, where they can easily view reports and account information in one place.”
Finsum:A duo from Securities America made the move to LPL due to the firm’s investments in innovative technology, which make it easier to do business.
Blackrock expanded its fixed-income ETF lineup with the launch of the BlackRock AAA CLO ETF (CLOA). The fund, which was launched on January 10th, seeks to provide capital preservation and current income by investing principally in a portfolio composed of U.S. dollar-denominated AAA-rated collateralized loan obligations (CLOs). According to Investopedia, a CLO is a bundle of loans that are ranked below investment grade. While the underlying loans are rated below investment grade, most CLO tranches are typically rated investment grade due to credit enhancements and diversification. CLOs have historically only been available to institutional investors, but Janus Henderson launched the first CLO fund in an ETF wrapper in October 2020. That fund, the Janus Henderson AAA CLO ETF (JAAA) was clearly able to find an audience since the fund currently has close to $2 billion in assets under management. This bodes well for CLOA, which has an expense ratio of 0.20%, six basis points cheaper than JAAA. Investors have been attracted to CLOs due to low volatility, low downgrade risk, and low correlations with traditional fixed-income assets. CLOA currently has a weighted average coupon of 5.40 and a weighted average maturity of 4.24 years.
Finsum: Blackrock launched an AAA CLO ETF to take advantage of investor CLO interest due to low volatility, low downgrade risk, and low correlations with traditional fixed income.
Recent developments in the wealth management space are expected to fuel the adoption of direct indexing by advisors over the next few years. We previously reported that direct indexing is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 12.3%, according to Cerulli Associates. In a separate survey by FTSE Russell in conjunction with Aite-Novarica, 80% of wealth and asset management firms expressed major interest in offering direct-indexing products to advisors, with 76% ranking the strategy as a top priority over the next year. Developments such as zero-commission trading and fractional shares are expected to help fuel the adoption of direct indexing among advisors. For instance, Charles Schwab and Fidelity both launched direct-indexing offerings last year with low investment minimums at $100,000 and $5,000, respectively. This could potentially bring these strategies into the mainstream. In addition, Fidelity's strategy incorporates fractional shares, while Altruist launched a direct-indexing product last April with a $2,000 minimum. Plus, according to an FTSE Russell spokesperson, “More large custodians and other players entering the space could fuel adoption among registered investment advisors.” Ninety percent of firms polled by FTSE Russell ranked RIAs as a major opportunity for the adoption and distribution of these strategies.
Finsum:Recent developments such as low investment minimums, fractional shares, and more players entering the space are expected to help fuel the adoption of direct indexing among advisors.