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Broadridge Financial Solutions, a financial technology infrastructure provider, expects total assets in model portfolios to exceed $11 trillion by the end of 2028. This would represent more than a doubling of assets over the next 5 years from $5.1 trillion at the end of last year. This forecast is slightly more optimistic than Blackrock’s prediction that model portfolio assets will reach $10 trillion over the next 5 years.

Model portfolios are increasingly being utilized by financial advisors as the industry shifts to a greater focus on planning and client service vs. investment management. In addition to freeing up valuable time and resources for advisors, research has also shown that they tend to outperform, especially during volatile markets, and lead to greater client satisfaction.

For asset managers, model portfolios are a source of growth for ETFs. Currently, 63% of model portfolio assets are in equities, with 32% in fixed income. ETFs comprised 51% of assets in model portfolios, compared to 26% for mutual funds. According to Andrew Guillette, Broadridge’s VP of Global Insights, “We expect ETFs to continue to take share from mutual funds inside model portfolios, driven primarily by their attributes as low-cost and tax-efficient portfolio-building blocks.”

Finsum: Broadridge Financial is forecasting that model portfolio assets will more than double over the next 5 years. It’s expected to drive growth for various asset managers’ ETFs and help advisors focus on client service and building their practices. 

Wednesday, 03 April 2024 04:21

3 Tips for Newer Advisors

It’s an opportune time for younger financial advisors. Many older advisors are nearing retirement, and we are on the precipice of a generational wealth transfer from baby boomers to millennials. However, this doesn’t negate the significant challenges and obstacles faced by new advisors, given their high failure rates. Here are three tips from established advisors to increase the odds of success.

According to Timothy Smith, the founder and CEO of Aurora Private Wealth, rookie advisors need to get used to rejection. He believes that advisors need to develop intangible qualities like perseverance, determination, and discipline in order to successfully build a practice. Further, advisors should have a genuine desire to help people feel in control of their financial lives.

Tammy Haygood, a private wealth advisor at RBC, is an advocate for not using jargon and believes that advisors should be able to explain concepts in clear and simple language. This can only be achieved by having a comprehensive understanding of the material and concepts. She also insists that authenticity is key in order to build trust and form long-term relationships with clients.

Nate Lenz, the co-founder and CEO of Concurrent, believes that younger advisors should seek out mentors. He sees financial advice as an ‘apprenticeship’ business. With the right mentor, advisors can quickly become competent and knowledgeable in multiple areas, such as planning, investments, closing deals, and client service. In this vein, he strongly believes that younger advisors should prioritize experience over other factors like compensation.

Finsum: There’s a lot of difficulty and struggle for advisors at the beginning of their careers. Here are some tips from established, successful advisors on how rookie advisors can maximize their chances of success. 

Morgan Stanley expanded its ETF lineup with the introduction of the Eaton Vance Total Return Bond ETF (EVTR) and the Eaton Vance Short Duration Municipal Income ETF (EVSM). The bank is joining many of its peers in converting fixed income mutual funds into active fixed income ETFs. 

EVTR focuses on seeking total return through diversified investments in fixed-income securities, including corporate, municipal, U.S. government, and asset-backed securities. EVTR is actively managed and has an expense ratio of 0.32%. Its holdings have an average duration of 6.5 years and an average yield of 4.4%. 

EVSM aims to provide investors with tax-exempt current income by predominantly investing in municipal securities with a short-term focus. The fund has a net expense ratio of 0.19%. The average duration of its holdings is 1.75 years, with an average yield of 4.7%.  

Both funds were originally highly ranked mutual funds, with EVTR's predecessor, MSIFT Core Plus Fixed Income Portfolio, achieving a ten-year track record in the top decile, and EVSM's precursor, the MSIFT Short Duration Municipal Income Portfolio, ranking in the top third of its category over five years.

With these additions, Morgan Stanley now offers 14 ETFs in the U.S. and has more than $1 billion in total assets, despite introducing its first ETF early last year. Like many other asset managers, Morgan Stanley is looking to capitalize on increased demand for ETFs and active fixed-income strategies. 

Finsum: Morgan Stanley is joining many of its peers in converting mutual funds into active ETFs with the launch of the Eaton Vance Total Return Bond ETF and the Eaton Vance Short Duration Municipal Income ETF.

REITs have had an uneven start to the year due to the outlook for monetary policy becoming less dovish. Many investors are interested in taking advantage of this weakness, given the sector’s solid fundamentals and attractive yields. Yet, they may want to minimize exposure to volatility, which is likely to persist given an uncertain outlook for monetary policy. So, here are two lower volatility REITs for more conservative investors.

W.P. Carey (WPC) owns commercial and industrial properties across North America and has a 6.2% dividend yield. WPC is extremely diversified, as no single industry accounts for more than 10% of its tenants, and its biggest single tenant accounts for less than 3% of total revenue. 

In addition to its diversification, WPC also has less risk than competitors due to being a net-lease REIT. This means tenants cover taxes, insurance, and maintenance. The company also negotiates rental rate increases that are built into contracts, providing another layer of security.  

Digital Realty Trust (DLR) provides exposure to data centers, pays a 3.4% yield, and has hiked its dividend every year since 2005. This segment saw massive growth over the last decade due to the rise of cloud computing and should enjoy another healthy tailwind over the next decade due to artificial intelligence. 

DLR’s data centers enable the distribution of technology to users for consumer and commercial applications. The company has more than 300 data centers in over 25 countries and counts companies like Meta, JPMorgan Chase, and Verizon among its customers.   

Finsum: REITs have underperformed to start the year. Yet, the sector still holds appeal due to attractive yields and solid fundamentals. DLR and WPC are two REITs with lower volatility that may appeal to more conservative REIT investors. 

Wednesday, 03 April 2024 04:18

Keys to the New Generation of HNW

Nearly $68 trillion in assets are moving to a younger generations over the next 30 years, wealth management firms catering to high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) are urged to adapt by integrating digital solutions to complement their bespoke services, rather than replacing them outright. 


HNWIs, distinguished by their substantial asset portfolios, require a tailored approach from wealth managers, particularly given their demand for nuanced portfolio guidance across various asset classes, such as real estate and cryptocurrency. While digital tools are reshaping consumer expectations within financial services, HNWIs continue to prioritize the personal touch and customized service that comprehends their unique preferences and financial complexities. 


However, there exists a gap in consistently delivering such personalized service, with over half of surveyed HNWIs reporting a lack of proactive support from their providers. Despite the surge in digital engagement during the pandemic, HNW clients still value personalized experiences, indicating a need for wealth managers to strike a balance between digital convenience and maintaining a human touch.

Finsum: Most clients want a mix of digital and personal service which advisors can use to leverage further business. 

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