Displaying items by tag: customization

Friday, 01 March 2024 03:15

How Model Portfolios Can Be Personalized

A major trend in wealth management is personalization. Due to new technology, financial advisors are now able to offer customized products and solutions without sacrificing scalability. It can help clients reach their financial goals while also creating a stronger relationship between advisors and clients.  


A survey conducted of high net worth investors by PwC showed that 66% are interested in more personalization, while 46% are looking to change or add new advisors within the next couple of years. For advisors, offering personalized solutions will be increasingly important in terms of recruiting and retaining clients.   


Personalization is also impacting model portfolios. Until recently, most model portfolios were built around the traditional portfolio, combining stocks and bonds, which limited customization. Now, there are more options to customize model portfolios including by factors, themes, and values. 


According to research from MSCI, wealth managers can allocate to these strategies without worry that it would have an adverse impact on a portfolio in terms of returns or diversification. Further, these model portfolios are customized but still retain their core benefits. For advisors, this means spending less time on investment management and more time on client service, financial planning, and growing the business.

Finsum: Personalization is a major trend in wealth management. Now, model portfolios can be customized which is bringing a variety of benefits for advisors and clients without an adverse impact on returns or diversification.

Published in Wealth Management
Thursday, 15 February 2024 14:17

Direct Indexing for Fixed Income

Until recently, direct indexing has typically been applied for equities. Its benefits in terms of creating after-tax alpha and increased customization are well-known. However, advisors should also be aware that direct indexing can also be leveraged for fixed income portfolios, and it can be especially impactful for clients nearing retirement. 


Direct indexing with equities means that investors own the actual constituents of an index rather than a fund. This leads to opportunities for tax-loss harvesting and personalization. Similarly, direct indexing with fixed income means that investors own the actual bonds held by a fund which also allows for tax-loss harvesting and increased personalization.


These portfolios can be optimized based on desired characteristics of credit quality, duration, and maturity. Essentially, this creates a custom, bond ladder portfolio with various fixed income securities.


Research also shows that tax-loss harvesting has more potential benefits in a fixed income portfolio. This is because there are proceeds from maturing bonds and coupons that can be used for reinvestment or lowering a cost basis. Further, the bond ladder can also be optimized based on an investors’ tax rate and/or location, to maximize accretive, after-tax returns. 


Finsum: By now, most are familiar with direct indexing for equities. Now, we are starting to see it applied to fixed income portfolios where the benefits are possibly greater. 


Published in Wealth Management
Friday, 09 February 2024 05:29

Increasing Tax Efficiency With Direct Indexing

Direct indexing combines the best elements of running a traditional portfolio with passively investing in indexes. This means that investors can reap the benefits of passive investing such as low costs, diversification, and proven long-term outperformance. Yet, they can still take advantage of tax loss harvesting which isn’t possible through investing in ETFs or mutual funds. 


This is because direct indexing leverages technology to recreate an index within an individual account. This technology will also regularly scan the portfolio for tax loss harvesting opportunities. Losing positions are sold and then replaced with positions that have similar factor scores to ensure that the index continues to be tracked. Over a whole year, this will lower an investors’ tax liability.


According to research, direct indexing will lead to an additional average annual return of 1.1%. Further, various direct indexing providers can optimize a portfolio according to an investors’ specific tax situation by offering various scenarios and the subsequent impact on capital gains. From an advisors’ perspective, many clients are interested in reducing taxes and aligning their investments with personal values. Direct indexing can help with both goals which means it can be quite potent in terms of recruiting and retaining clients. 

Finsum: Direct indexing can increase an investors’ average annual return by reducing tax liabilities. This is in addition to the typical benefits of passive investing such as diversification and low costs. 

Published in Wealth Management
Friday, 02 February 2024 07:32

Direct Indexing’s Value in Volatile Markets

Financial markets have been quite strong over the last few months on the prospects of an economy that continues to defy skeptics and evade a recession, falling inflation, and a dovish Fed. But there are some signs that the market’s ascent is being interrupted by a bout of volatility due to some high-profile earnings misses, a more hawkish than expected FOMC, and flagging momentum in the labor market. Given the uncertainty around the Fed, an upcoming election, and the importance of economic data in the coming months, this volatility is likely to persist.

This volatility is uncomfortable for investors. However, for direct indexing investors, there is a silver lining as volatility leads to opportunities to harvest tax losses. Direct indexing entails reconstructing an index within an account by owning the actual holdings rather than a fund. 

This approach combines the benefits of passive investing - low costs, diversification, and proven performance - with the ability to harvest tax losses that is possible with individual stocks but not by investing in an ETF or mutual fund. Direct indexing platforms will automatically scan portfolios on a regular basis for tax loss harvesting opportunities. These positions are then replaced with positions with similar factor scores to ensure that the index continues to be tracked.


Finsum: There are some signs that the market rally is ending and that the markets could be entering a period of volatility. One advantage of direct indexing is that it is able to harvest tax losses during this period. 


Published in Wealth Management

According to Broadridge Financial, we are on the cusp of a meaningful shift in the wealth management universe as direct indexing represents the next evolution of passive investing. Over the last 20 years, we have seen exchange traded funds (ETFs) displace mutual funds as the primary vehicle for investing. Now, Broadridge believes something similar is happening with direct indexing. 


Some of the major reasons for this are low trading costs, fractional shares, and technology advances which make it accessible and practical for investors with much lower amounts to invest. Direct indexing assets are forecast to rise at a 12.4% rate over the next few years, outpacing ETFs, mutual funds, and SMAs. As a result, it’s becoming imperative to offer this service to clients who are particularly amenable to its tax optimization and personalization features.


Despite these trends, Broadridge reports that only 47% of executives and advisors were familiar enough with direct indexing to complete a survey about the subject. Additionally, only 14% of advisors currently recommend it to clients. According to the firm, advisors and practices should move quickly to embrace this technology as it has the potential to be a source of differentiation and value for clients. Client interest is especially high among Millennials and Generation Z due to their desire to align their investments with their personal values. 

Finsum: Broadridge Financial conducted a survey of advisors and executives about direct indexing. Despite promising long-term trends, it found that many are still not acting to embrace this opportunity. 


Published in Wealth Management
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