Displaying items by tag: personalization

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

Building and maintaining meaningful relationships with plan participants is an ongoing challenge for 401(k) advisors. Demonstrating their value is vital. One powerful strategy lies in the skillful use of managed accounts, which showcase their investment expertise and enhance participant engagement.


Managed accounts allow advisors to personalize their investment guidance at scale. By collaborating with the right recordkeeping partner, advisors can craft the portfolio allocations within the program, thus affecting the allocations within individual accounts. This partnership enables both parties to highlight their value propositions: advisors provide strategic investment guidance, while the recordkeeping platform facilitates participant access to this invaluable services.


Ed Murphy, President and CEO of Empower, recently shared insights with planadviser.com on the strong demand for discretionary, personalized managed portfolios. He also commented that nearly 9% of their participants are enrolled in their managed account program, underscoring its value and appeal. Murphy's observations reflect a broader industry trend where participants seek personalized financial strategies, highlighting the importance of advisors integrating managed accounts into their service offerings.

Finsum: Implementing manage accounts within a 401(k) plan is an effective and scalable way for plan advisors to demonstrate value to participants.


Published in Wealth Management
Thursday, 15 February 2024 14:28

SMA Growth Outpacing Model Portfolios

A recent survey of financial advisors showed that separately managed accounts (SMAs) are seeing more traction in comparison to model portfolios. Only 22% of advisors plan to increase reliance on model portfolios, a 5% drop from the previous year. In contrast, allocations to SMAs are forecast to reach 26% in 2025 from 18% currently. The trend is more pronounced among advisors serving high net-worth clients who see allocations reaching 31% in 2025 from 23% now.


Some of the reasons cited by advisors in the survey for less interest in model portfolios were higher fees, underperformance, a need for customization, and more investment options. The survey is an indication that model portfolio uptake and growth have stalled as only 29% of advisors using model portfolios report increasing use over the past year. 


The survey was conducted by Cogent Syndicated in October and November of last year. The firm surveyed 403 registered financial advisors with an active book of at least $5 million. The report suggests that model portfolio providers are losing ground as many advisors and clients are gravitating towards direct indexing and SMAs due to their customization and tax optimization, while model portfolios fall short in these regards despite offering other advantages for advisors and clients. 



Finsum: A survey of financial advisors showed that model portfolio adoption has stalled. Here are why advisors are gravitating towards SMAs instead.


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
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