Displaying items by tag: mutual funds
China has been a no-brainer for any diverse portfolio and quite frankly continues to be one…see the full story on our partner Magnifi’s site.
Did you know that most advisors spend 5.5 hours per week handling investment management related tasks like searching for funds? That stat comes from Kitces.com and does a good job highlighting what has become an increasingly difficult problem for advisors: how to find the right funds when there is an ever-increasing ocean of options, including many that look very similar. Between screeners with limited criteria (I want “value ESG”, not just “value”) and the pain of cross-asset class searches, finding funds has increasingly become a real quagmire for time and effort. Imagine if you could have three extra hours per week to focus on new client acquisition instead of cycling through drop-down menus trying to find funds? Well, a company called Magnifi has a great new tool to help you do just that. For example, international stocks are getting some attention from Wall Street analysts right now because of their favorable valuations versus US stocks. However, finding the right international funds is even harder than doing so for domestic stocks. For example, you might want to find the best ETFs focused on Asia. Because of the antiquated architecture of existing fund screeners, it would take hours of work to pin down funds in the right fee range and with the right composition. Instead, Magnifi uses natural language search to immediately display and compare all the relevant funds for your query. For example, here are the results for searching “China Value Funds”.
Another great thing about Magnifi is that they incorporate FI360’s fiduciary risk score for every fund, allowing you to incorporate that element for clients and rest easy with concern to regulations.
FINSUM: In our view, Magnifi is the best way to search and filter investments, period. Once you try it out you will quickly move on from the many ETF “screeners” available.
ESG has been on the rise. In its infancy, ESG was largely diminished to a niche sector, but increasingly large amounts of investor capital are flowing based on ESG considerations and clients are getting more and more focused on it. Now there is a new tool to score and rank mutual funds based on ESG factors. The tool is from As You Sow. It is still a work in progress, but is quite useful for getting an idea for where funds rank against one another.
FINSUM: This tool is still in development, but we could imagine that this could become quite useful as ESG is famously hard to grade.
The ETF industry has been undermining the mutual fund business for years, but it is now set to undergo a transformation itself. In particular, as many as half of the 2,000+ ETFs currently listed are likely to close in the next few years as they die off from a lack of assets. Most ETFs need to reach somewhere between $50m and $100m to break even, but currently more than half of the 2,100 or so ETFs have less than $100m. The problem is that the market has become so inundated with new concepts—and so top heavy from broad index funds—that attracting assets is very difficult. Accordingly, many ETFs, including from large providers, are likely to close over the next couple years.
FINSUM: Big names have already started shuttering funds that were underperforming in terms of assets. Expect more of the same.
Investors and advisors—don’t get too excited about the zero fee shift among the big brokers, it is not all that it appeared to be. In particular, mutual funds seem to have been entirely left behind in the zero fee shift. Essentially, none of the big brokers has scrapped fees on mutual fund trades. While ETFs are now free to trade, mutual funds in some cases have transaction fees as high as $75.
FINSUM: This is going to wound the mutual fund market further, as not only do mutual funds have higher fees, but trading them will now be commensurately more difficult than ETFs too.