LPL Financial topped analysts’ estimates for Q3 earnings despite a slight 3% decline in earnings. It also reported a strong quarter in terms of recruiting and asset growth. It also laid out its growth plan for the future which involves expanding its capacity to serve all types of advisors.
LPL added 462 advisors on a quarterly basis and 1,360 on an annual basis. It attributed this growth in part to its new affiliation models and to boosting its offerings to serve a wider variety of advisors. CEO Dan Arnold remarked that LPL’s goal is to eventually be able to compete for all 300,000 advisors on the marketplace.
Q3 was LPL’s best quarter for asset growth since Q2 of last year when it added $43.5 billion. In Q3, the firm added $31.2 billion in assets with $12 billion from Bank of the West and Commerce. However, the company believes that its current growth is higher quality and more durable.
Richard Steinmeier, managing director of business development, said “We are strengthening in the way that individual advisors and groups of advisors are choosing to come to [LPL] in a much more material way even than Q2 2022.”
Finsum: LPL Financial reported strong Q3 results in terms of recruiting and asset growth. The firm has ambitious growth plans for the future.
According to a report conducted by Hearts & Wallets, high net worth (HNW) investors are favoring separately managed accounts (SMA) over mutual funds. The report surveyed 6,000 people. About 22% of US households were invested in an SMA, which is a significant gain from 13% in 2020. In the same timeframe, mutual fund ownership increased from 38% to 39%.
Among HNW investors with investable assets of $3 million or more, SMA ownership went from 22% in 2020 to 41% in 2022. In terms of portfolio allocation, SMAs climbed from 22% in 2020 to 29% last year.
At one time, mutual funds were the only way for retail investors to get access to many markets and the expertise of portfolio managers. Now, there are a multitude of products that offer these features, often with more liquidity and lower costs.
One reason for the growing popularity of SMAs is that they are becoming more affordable and now require lower account minimums. Another factor is the growing interest in personalized investing which is more easily facilitated with SMAs rather than mutual funds. For instance, an investor passionate about protecting the environment could avoid fossil fuel companies in their holdings.
Finsum: Separately managed accounts are gaining traction among high-net-worth investors and are displacing mutual funds.
Earlier this year, the Carlyle Group was close to completing a $15 billion deal to takeover healthcare software company Cotiviti at $15 billion. However, the deal fell apart as Carlyle was unable to raise $3 billion from investors due to the yield of 12% being nearly equivalent to the return on equity.
At first, many speculated that this was a Carlyle issue, but in hindsight, it’s an indication of the pressures faced by the private equity industry amid the highest rates in decades. Many of the strategies employed by private equity managers are simply not viable in a world with higher interest rates.
As flows into new funds have slowed and pressure to refinance, private equity firms have started borrowing against assets to make dividend payments, while others are shifting away from making interest payments in cash.
The industry still has $2.5 trillion in cash, and many dealmakers believe there will be some attractive opportunities to capitalize upon. Still, others believe that operators will have to adapt to a new environment and can no longer rely on the tailwind of falling rates which lifted asset prices higher, while keeping financing costs low.
Finsum: Private equity is struggling amid higher rates. Here are some of the ways.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Salim Ramji, Blackrock’s global head of iShares and index investments, spoke about the growth of model portfolios, and why he believes that assets under management (AUM) are projected to more than double over the next 5 years from $4.2 trillion to over $10 trillion.
Ramji commented that “It’s going to be massive. It’s the way in which more and more fiduciary advisers are doing business, and, as a result, that’s the way in which we’re doing business with them. It’s really just changed from being a cottage industry to being something that’s a real force for every fiduciary wealth adviser in the United States.”
Model portfolios are typically composed of ETFs and other funds that are bundled into pre-built strategies. An indication of the growth of model portfolios is that changes in allocations can be seen in trading volumes and fund flows data. For iShares, model portfolios comprise more than half of flows, while they accounted for a third of flows 2 years ago. The company expects similar traction for model portfolios in its international markets as well.
Blackrock’s bullishness on model portfolios is noteworthy as it is the largest asset manager in the world with $9 trillion in AUM and also the largest ETF issuer.
Finsum: Blackrock is forecasting that assets under management for model portfolios will exceed $10 trillion over the next 5 years.
As the year comes to a close, it presents an opportune moment for financial advisors to revisit strategies and offer valuable advice to clients. A timely topic is tax loss harvesting. And direct indexing is becoming a popular way for investors to accomplish this. Therefore, now is a great time to consider introducing the concept of direct indexing to your clients.
The Value of Tax Loss Harvesting
Tax loss harvesting is a technique that can reduce taxable income by selling securities that have incurred a loss. As we approach year-end, this tax-saving tactic may be appropriate for some of your clients, yet you need a convenient way to make these trades without upsetting their entire portfolio. Direct indexing allows you to accomplish this task.
Direct Indexing: No Longer Just for the Elite
Direct indexing, which involves buying individual stocks directly rather than through a fund, enhances the ability to tax loss harvest. While it's not a new concept, it's becoming more accessible to a broader range of investors. As author Medora Lee pointed out in her recent article in USA Today, "(direct indexing) was once mostly reserved for the affluent with at least $1 million to invest." But things are changing. "With better technology and zero- or low-commission trading now the norm, more people can use direct indexing."
Embracing the potential of direct indexing and tax loss harvesting is another way to demonstrate your value to your clients.
As recently reported by PlanAdviser.com, payroll giant ADP has collaborated with Morningstar to introduce a proprietary managed accounts product to their over 100,000 DC recordkeeping clients. Morningstar emphasized the complexities today's plan participants face in retirement savings, particularly given the backdrop of high inflation and market volatility, which can be especially challenging f or those employed by smaller firms.
Chris Magno, Senior Vice President and General Manager of ADP Retirement Services, underscored the sentiment, stating, "Every retirement plan, irrespective of its scale, deserves access to tailored advice on a large scale."
It's clear why the availability of managed accounts continues to spread. Historically, DC plans have often presented their participants with two primary investment avenues: self-managing their portfolios or selecting predefined options like target date or balanced funds. Managed accounts, however, introduce a third, more collaborative method. These accounts consider not only age and risk preferences but also additional factors, such as assets held by participants outside their 401(k).
Integrating managed accounts can enhance the bond between advisors and participants. Advisors typically play a pivotal role in defining the managed accounts program guidelines and engaging with participants opting for this route. For advisors yet to explore managed accounts, they are worth a closer look. They support the plan sponsor's objective of helping their employees reach a secure retirement while fortifying the advisor's rapport with participants.
Finsum: ADP and Morningstar launch a managed accounts product for DC clients, bridging traditional retirement savings methods with innovative solutions.