Wealth Management

Much has been talked about regarding the failure of the 60/40 portfolio last year, but Vanguard analysts recently suggested that investors shouldn’t abandon a balanced portfolio strategy. Roger Aliaga-Diaz, portfolio construction head for Vanguard, and his team said in a recent note that “A balanced portfolio still offers the best chance of success.” Aliaga-Diaz noted that while the negative correlation between stocks and bonds broke down last year, “longer term, however, the data support balanced portfolios.” The firm noted that “The policy response to higher and more persistent inflation and the subsequent repricing of risk in global capital markets has led to a dramatic shift in our time-varying asset allocation (TVAA) outlook.” The TVAA looks to harvest the risk premiums for which the Vanguard thinks there is modest return predictability. Based on the firm’s current outlook, Vanguard’s optimal TVAA portfolio “calls for a 50/50 stock and bond split, and favors bonds and emerging markets.” Specifically, Vanguard’s TVAA allocation suggests 30% U.S. stocks, 20% international (divided equally between developed and emerging markets), 22% international bonds, and 27% U.S. fixed income (mostly in U.S. intermediate credit bonds). The firm noted that the interest rate tightening cycle in 2022 raised its expected bond return forecasts by more than the equity sell-off raised expected equity returns.

Finsum:While the 60/40 portfolio failed last year, Vanguard believes a balanced portfolio still offers the best chance of long-term success and recommends a 50/50 stock and bond split.

In a recent interview with ESG Clarity, Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor offered his thoughts on direct indexing and how custom features could lead to more people being interested in investing. Kapoor mentioned that while separate accounts were always touted as providing customization, in reality, most separate accounts did not provide much customization. That’s why he is so excited about direct indexing. He stated that, “the cool thing about building a direct index is that at the start, the adviser’s having this conversation with the client, not only about the risk profile, risk tolerance, time horizon – but suddenly the conversation is about preferences.” He believes that these preferences get clients engaged with their advisors. He said, that it can “allow an adviser to really drill into an individual’s preferences in an educated way – really walkthrough for the individual what the pros and cons are of implementing those preferences in a portfolio.” Kapoor also compared direct indexing to passive investing. He believes that while passive investing can be good for most people, it can take the fun out of investing. Direct indexing, on the other hand, has many of the benefits of passive investing, but it brings back the fun of making choices.

Finsum:Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor believes that direct indexing creates more engagement between advisors and their clients since it requires them to discuss preferences.

In a recent article for U.S. News & World Report, Cameo Roberson, founder of Atlas Park Consulting, offered six networking tips for advisors to get great results. Her first tip is to make a good impression to win prospects. She wrote that “Networking can happen when you least expect it,” which means it's important to be friendly, but not be too intrusive in determining whether a person wants to discuss their financial plans. Her second recommendation is to offer value to networking partners. She wrote, “Be a good resource and keep your word to people in your network. As time goes on, you'll build up a reputation as someone they can count on.” She also recommends normalizing the sharing of referrals by creating a system such as writing a note to share with colleagues that clearly describes who you'd like to be introduced to. Roberson also recommends growing your network through business partners. This includes developing a short list of firms that you have built relationships with. This creates a path to possible future referrals since some clients aren't a great fit for every firm. Her fifth recommendation is to build a clear strategy. Roberson recommends thinking outside the box and beyond traditional contacts such as accountants and attorneys. Her final tip is to move with intent and be consistent, meaning that you must implement any plan you create.

Finsum:Advisor consultant Cameo Roberson offered six tips for networking, including making a good impression, offering value to networking partners, normalizing the sharing of referrals, growing your network through business partners, building a clear strategy, and moving with intent and being consistent. 


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