Displaying items by tag: diversification

Saturday, 27 May 2023 04:45

FINRA Fines 5 Brokers for Reg BI Violations

Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) was passed by the SEC in 2019 and implemented in 2020. It essentially requires brokers to only recommend products to customers that are in their best interest. It also requires that brokers must inform clients of any potential conflicts of interest and financial benefits they may accrue. 

Until recently, enforcement of Reg BI has been lacking, but this is clearly now changing as authorities are stepping up. The most recent incident is FINRA fining five broker-dealers for failing to comply with regulations including Reg BI and Form CRS. 

These firms were cited for a lack of guardrails and protocols that would lead their registered brokers to adhere to Reg BI. Relatedly, these firms were also penalized for missing deadlines related to Form CRS and/or providing incomplete information. Form CRS is an overview of a broker’s services, fees, conflicts of interest, prior disciplinary action, and other information to increase transparency and minimize fraud risk. 

The five firms did not admit or contest FINRA’s decision. Like previous Reg BI enforcement, the penalties and citations were minor. In contrast, the SEC has only filed one major Reg BI case, but it pursued much harsher penalties. 

Finsum: Reg BI is a new regulation which mandates that broker-dealers must inform clients of any conflicts of interest and recommend products that are in their best interest. Recently, regulatory authorities are stepping up enforcement. 


Published in Wealth Management
Wednesday, 24 May 2023 03:10

How Automation Can Enhance Direct Indexing

One reason for the growing popularity of direct indexing is tax-loss harvesting. However, many investors fail to capture the full benefits, because they are manually reviewing their portfolio for these types of opportunities.

In an article for Vettafi’s Direct Indexing Channel, James Comtois shares why automation is essential to unlocking the full benefits of direct indexing. With direct indexing unlike investing in indexes, losing positions can be sold to reduce an investors’ tax liabilities. Then, these proceeds can be reinvested in similar assets. 

However, the more frequently these opportunities can be uncovered, then the greater the potential alpha. Therefore, investors should look to automate this process in order to capture the most benefits. Unfortunately, many advisors continue to do this process on an annual or quarterly basis which means they are missing many opportunities. 

With the right software, these scans can be conducted on a daily or weekly basis, leading to more consistency and better outcomes in terms of tax savings. Automation can also help advisors find the best rebalancing opportunities. Overall, more frequent scans can lead to between 20 and 100 basis points of additional returns. 

Finsum: Direct indexing is rapidly growing, but many advisors fail to capture its full benefits, because they are not automating the process of finding tax-loss harvesting opportunities.


Published in Wealth Management
Thursday, 30 March 2023 10:23

Direct Indexing

Until recently, customized portfolios were only available to high net worth individuals. But, this is now changing due to the advent of direct indexing which is giving these tools to a much wider swathe of investors according to an article from Michelle Lodge. 

Direct indexing allows investors to have more control over their money while still allowing them to benefit from the positives of indexing such as diversification, tax efficiency, and low costs. This will allow their investments to better reflect their life situations, values, and convictions. 

It’s particularly useful for those with outsized exposure to a company or an industry or those with a large base of taxable assets. For instance, a tech employee with a large number of shares and stock options could use direct indexing to purchase the S&P 500 but reduce exposure to technology stocks.

According to BlackDiamond Wealth CIO Ken Nutall, “We have two main use cases: clients who have an old portfolio of appreciated assets but want to migrate to another strategy of tax efficiently, or [those who] work at a bank and don’t want any more bank exposure in their portfolio.” 

Finsum: Direct indexing is one of the fastest growing areas of wealth management. It gives investors the benefits of index investing, while allowing customization to help clients achieve their financial goals..


Published in Wealth Management

Alternative investment platform CAIS recently announced that Graham Capital Management, L.P., a global alternative investment firm with approximately $17.9 billion in assets under management is adding select alternative investment funds on the CAIS Marketplace. Graham specializes in providing quantitative and discretionary macro strategies. The announcement coincides with positive performance across macro strategies over the last year. The Graham fund currently listed on the CAIS marketplace has undergone a third-party due diligence process conducted by Mercer and will be made available to thousands of RIAs and independent broker-dealers who oversee more than $3 trillion in assets. As part of the announcement, Brian Douglas, Chief Executive Officer of Graham, stated, “2022 was a strong year for macro and a reminder of the importance of portfolio diversification. We are optimistic that the opportunity set for our strategies will continue to be strong, so we are particularly excited about the timing of our partnership with CAIS.” While the private wealth channel has historically been under-allocated to alternatives compared to institutional investors, a recent CAIS-Mercer survey found that nearly 88% of advisors intend to increase their allocations to alternatives over the next two years. This follows news in January when CAIS announced that its platform is adding Reverence Capital Partners funds.

Finsum:Due to rising demand for alternative asset classes, CAIS announced that Graham Capital, which specializes in discretionary macro strategies is adding select funds to the CAIS marketplace.

Published in Wealth Management

According to a recent report by Fitch Ratings, U.S. insurers are expected to continue to increase their fixed-income ETF holdings. In December, New York introduced new guidelines that allowed a fixed income ETF to receive bond-like capital treatment if the ETF is rated by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization. However, if rated, an ETF can receive this treatment only if it is invested in fixed income securities and cash, is passively managed, and has at least $1 billion in assets under management, among other criteria. So far, Fitch has rated 10 fixed-income ETFs from VanEck, Vanguard, and Invesco. Insurers have previously sought to increase their ETF holdings due to a mix of diversification, increased liquidity, and the ability to adjust overall portfolio allocations. According to SNL data, ETF holdings at insurers jumped from $3 billion in 2016 to $9.8 billion at the end of 2021.

Finsum:Since New York introduced new guidelines that allowed a fixed income ETF to receive bond-like capital treatment, insurers have been increasing their fixed income ETF holdings. 

Published in Wealth Management
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