Improper Roles for Advisors
Thursday, Jun 6 2013
Diana Powell, Gabriel Potter
Too often, we see non-fiduciary advisors taking on fiduciary roles and vice versa. This monthly article describes the appropriate duties for fiduciary and non-fiduciary advisors and highlights the hazards of mixing their roles. If you encounter this common mistake, please feel free to share this article and spread the word.
Best Fiduciary Practices, fiduciary consulting, fiduciary responsibility, fiduciary governanace procedures, Fiduciary Practices, plan fiduciary
Thursday, May 2 2013
Fun and interesting recommendations for getting engaged in Economics, Finance and Investing.
economics, fun, dismal science, investing, recommended
1Q 2013 Market Review
Tuesday, Apr 2 2013
Summary review of 1st quarter 2013 index performance and key news stories.
market commentary, fixed, alternative, equity, index
Portfolio Risk - Part 2
Wednesday, Feb 27 2013
In part 2 of this white paper, we consider the qualitative analysis which refutes investment return volatility as the sole embodiment of risk.
downside risk, IPS, inflation, qualitative, taxes, risk, DC, liquidity, hyperinflation, standard deviation, goals, deflation, DB, counterparty, longevity, volatility, LDI, interest rates, endowment, fiduciary, CVAR, quantitative, foundation
Portfolio Risk - Part 1
Monday, Feb 4 2013
The notion of investment risk often equates to standard deviation, or volatility, of investment returns. That paradigm deserves scrutiny; part one of the Risk whitepaper will detail some of the shortfalls from defining risk exclusively as standard deviation.
return, risk, standard deviation, volatility, S&P, Modern Portfolio Theory, portfolio
4th Quarter 2012 Market Update
Thursday, Jan 3 2013
Summary review of 4th quarter 2012 index performance and key news stories.
market commentary, fixed, alternative, equity
Predictions for 2013
Thursday, Jan 3 2013
Market predictions for 2013 with review of Government policy, interest rates, inflation, market and GDP growth targets.
policy, Market Prediction, 2013, inflation, gdp, market
Update on the Housing Sector
Thursday, Dec 6 2012
The housing sector was the epicenter of the 2008 financial crisis. It seems to be healing, albeit slowly, but some of that recovery has been built with artificial supports that may be taken away as part of Fiscal Cliff negotiations.
mortgage, MBS, financial, crash, sector, housing, technology, mortgage interest deduction, mortgage backed securities, financial crisis, fed, credit, Federal Reserve, dotcom, realtors, bubble, Fiscal Cliff
Focus on Investments: Quantitative Investing
Monday, Nov 12 2012
How does an investment manager pick stocks or bonds? It depends on the manager, but in this whitepaper, we take a look at investment managers that follow the Quantitative Investing style.
technical, top-down, patterns, models, bottom-up, investing, quantitative, fundamental, computer
3rd Quarter Market Review
Monday, Oct 1 2012
The summary review of the 3rd quarter of 2012 with index performance and large themes.
market update, summary, third quarter, 2012
Company stock in your company's retirement plan
Monday, Oct 1 2012
Adding mutual funds or other investments to your company’s 401K lineup is a replicable process that is easily defined for most options. On the other hand, adding your own company stock as an investible option is a unique challenge that employers have to deal with. In this paper, we consider the singular advantages and disadvantages to adding company stock to your investment lineup.
401k, ERISA, stock ownership, defined contribution, restriction, disadvantages, DC, Pension Protection Act, pros, shares, cons, 401(k), advantages, PPA, ESOP, company stock, lawsuit, unitized
Turning DC Plans into DB Plans
Wednesday, Sep 5 2012
Defined Contribution retirement plans, like a 401(k), are going to take a more prominent role for future retirees. We look at the options an employer has to make their defined contribution plan act like a pension for their employees.
retirement, employer, db, income replacement, defined contribution, income, income for life, social security, defined benefit, outlive, employee, convert, plan sponsor, pension, dc, life, participant
Pension Funding Relief from MAP 21
Sunday, Aug 5 2012
The new “Moving Ahead for Progress” law will change how pension plans get funded.
MAP-21, Moving Ahead for Progress, DB, pension, corridor
Thursday, Jul 5 2012
Westminster Consulting addresses its approach to portfolio construction.
asset allocation, correlation, active, strategic, return, risk, tactical, core, passive, portfolio construction, Modern Portfolio Theory, trend, satellite, MPT, efficient, optimal, diversification, optimization
2nd Quarter 2012 Market Update
Thursday, Jul 5 2012
The 2nd Quarter of 2012 was fairly punishing, primarily driven by revisit to the European debt crisis.
market update, summary, Eurozone, 2012, second quarter
Tuesday, Jun 5 2012
The recent events shaking up the market, disorder in the Eurozone and questionable trading practices of financial giant, may seem familiar to informed investors. Should we brace for another financial crisis?
Trading, market commentary, JPMorgan, scandal, Eurozone, Greece, Euro, future results, past performance
Primer to Alternative Investments
Saturday, May 5 2012
Alternative investments are a growing part of the investment option line-up, but the advantages and disadvantages are not always well understood. This whitepaper will introduce you to some of the types of alternative investments, the reasons that they may be useful component of your portfolio and the reasons you may want to avoid them.
primer, disadvantages, alternative investments, pros, cons, introduction, advantages, alternatives
Investment Manager Due Diligence
Thursday, Apr 5 2012
Investment manager due diligence is a tricky process that requires a thorough understanding of a manager’s style to separate their performance from other factors such as style bias, timing, or simple luck.
aggressive, defensive, qualitative, style, investment manager selection, monitoring, investment manager, professor pigskin, quantitative, due diligence, analysis
1Q 2012 Market Update
Thursday, Apr 5 2012
The first quarter of 2012 was sharply positive for global markets as fears for an imminent collapse of the Eurozone subsided.
Iran, market update, inflation, fixed, alternative, first, summary, Eurozone, 2012, equity, quarter
High Fees and Hidden Expenses
Monday, Mar 5 2012
Sean Patton, Gabriella Martinez
ERISA 408(b)(2) rules increases transparency into the fee structure of retirement plans
ERISA, fees, 408b2
Recent Changes at the Federal Reserve
Sunday, Feb 5 2012
We explain the Federal Reserve, how it works and provide some of criticism of its actions. The new Federal Reserve Communication policy, announced in January, should improve understanding and defuse criticism.
inflation, Greenspan, Bernanke, financial crisis, deflation, Fed, Federal Reserve, communication, interest rates
2011 in Review and 2012 Outlook
Thursday, Jan 5 2012
A market overview, by sector, for 2011 and an explanation of our capital market assumptions for 2012.
Occupy Wall Street, GDP, reform, inflation, overview, base case, 2011, market, Japan, sector, growth, Arab Spring, 2012, volatility, interest rates, Healthcare, oil, earthquake, investing, tsunami
The Stable Value Market
Monday, Dec 5 2011
Stable Value funds are very popular investments in Defined Contribution plans, but unique challenges are prompting stable value providers to leave the business.
401k, guaranteed investment contract, defined contribution, GIC, Schwab, stable value, wrap, dc
The European Financial Crisis
Saturday, Nov 5 2011
A simple explanation of the debt crisis in the Eurozone
PIIGS, market, EFSF, Eurozone, Europe, Greece, Euro, debt, investing
Primer on Liability Driven Investing
Wednesday, Oct 5 2011
A simple explanation of Liability Driven Investing (LDI).
liability driven investing, defined benefit, driven, liability, pension, LDI, interest rates, investing
The Balancing Act
Monday, Sep 5 2011
The US Equity market is under stress, and headlines have been grim, but we maintain our long term strategic outlook.
employment, market, Great Recession, confidence, volatility, investing
The US Downgrade
Friday, Aug 12 2011
As predicted, the self-imposed debate in Congress has sufficiently weakened confidence in the US to merit a rating downgrade.
market, debt ceiling, Standard and Poor's, Congress, S&P, downgrade, investing
The Fear Trade
Friday, Aug 5 2011
The US Equity market is under stress, but potentially undervalued if you are a long term investor
fear, market, debt ceiling, Buffett, TARP, confidence, Europe, volatility, Greece, investing
The Debt Ceiling
Tuesday, Jul 26 2011
The debate in Congress about raising the debt ceiling will lead to either default, downgrade, or deterioration in market recovery.
grand bargain, market, debt ceiling, Standard and Poor's, confidence, S&P, downgrade, investing, brinkmanship