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Northwestern Mutual is expanding its offering of professionally managed investment portfolios. The firm is launching a new category of model portfolios that are accessible to younger and less affluent investors.


The initiative is called the ‘Signature Portfolios Market Pathway’ and requires a minimum investment amount of $5,000. The intention is to create a ‘straightforward approach to investing’ through low cost, diversified and broad ETFs that provide exposure across Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management’s strategic asset classes. There are five types of model portfolios that are available that vary based on risk tolerance. Obviously, the larger goal for the firm is to provide opportunities for advisors to connect with a younger generation of investors who are ready to begin their financial planning journeys.


Northwestern Mutual is positioning itself to appeal to a younger generation and for the major transfer of wealth that is set to take place over the next couple of generations. The company’s average age for an advisor is 39, while it’s 57 through the industry. Currently, it’s the 5th largest independent broker-dealer in terms of revenue, has more than 6,700 advisors, and counts more than $250 billion in assets. 

Finsum: Northwestern Mutual is launching a new initiative which lowers the investment threshold to $5,000 to access the company’s model portfolios.


Thursday, 07 December 2023 11:08

Macquaire Debuts ETFs

Macquaire Asset Management, an Australian financial services company with $575 billion in assets and major presence as an operator in the background of the ETF market, launched its first US-listed ETFs this week. Macquaire has previously been involved with ETFs as a custodian, market marker, and advisory firm as well as providing seed capital for other funds. 


Now, it’s making a more aggressive move into ETFs in 2023. Earlier this year, it partnered with BondBloxx to serves as a subadvisor to the BondBloxx USD High Yield Bond Sector Rotation ETF (HYSA), which launched in September.  


This week, it launched 3 ETFs. The Macquaire Global Listed Infrastructure ETF (BILD) and the Macquarie Energy Transition ETF (PWER) are equity funds offering thematic exposure. It also launched a fixed income ETF - the Macquarie Tax-Free USA Short Term ETF (STAX). STAX invests in tax-exempt US bonds with maturities 1 and 5 years. 


This continues a major theme of 2023 which has been the proliferation of active ETFs. Macquaire has also indicated that it plans to launch more active ETFs in the coming years in the US and globally.

Finsum: Macquaire Asset Management is listing its first ETFs. The firm has previously been a player in the ETF space in background roles as a custodian, market marker, advisory, and seeder of funds.


Thursday, 07 December 2023 07:52

Recruiting Tips for Financial Advisors

Having a strategy to acquire new clients is necessary for any financial advisory practive to grow and thrive. Yet, there are multiple paths to accomplishing this goal. Some examples are cold calling, digital marketing, in-person networking, etc.


While the tactics can vary, the principles are the same. This entails identifying your target client, figuring out your unique value proposition, and identifying the best medium to reach prospects in a way that is complementary to your personality.


It can also be helpful to spend more time with your existing clients. This will strengthen these connections and increase the chances of getting a referral. These types of referrals have a higher chance of conversion given a stronger foundation of trust. It’s also a reminder that the most important job of an advisor is to build relationships which can only be done by spending time with clients and prospects.


By making financial planning a family affair, you can increase your chances of serving the next generation. This will give you an opportunity to spend time and build a relationship with multiple family members which could ultimately be assets in terms of recruiting, retention, and finding leads. 

Finsum: There are many tactics when it comes to landing new clients for financial advisors. However, many successful strategies have some important principles in common. 


Clarion Partners, a leading global real estate investment manager, shared its thoughts on the US economy and outlook for real estate in 2024. It notes that the economy has stayed resilient despite headwinds from inflation, higher interest rates, and geopolitical risks. 


The expansion has been sustained by a robust jobs market, steady consumer spending, and fiscal deficits. There could be some relief with inflation moderating which could lead the Fed to pivot its policy in 2024 and provide relief to rate-sensitive parts of the economy like real estate.


Real estate activity has slowed due to higher interest rates, while sellers have been unwilling to lower prices. In some segments, there is concern about a wave of maturities which will have to be refinanced at higher rates in a more restrictive environment. 


The firm is generally optimistic about commercial real estate except for office, mall, and select retail. Other than these areas, vacancy rates remain low, and rents remain elevated. There has also been a drop in new construction which is also supportive of rents continuing to grow in the coming years. It also believes that private real estate is well-positioned to take advantage of dislocations created by the current market environment. 

Finsum: Clarion Partners, a real estate invesment manager, believes that macro conditions for real estate will improve in 2024 due to a more dovish Fed while underlying fundamentals remain solid. 


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