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Stock market gains have been strong in recent years, many might consider rebalancing their portfolios now. Christine Benz, director of personal finance at Morningstar has five tips to get this done. 1. “Assess asset allocation across multiple asset pools.” Investors might have different “pools of money” but asset allocation is more important for all of them as a whole than it is for individual portfolios of IRAs, company retirement accounts and so on. 2. “Address asset-class/sub-asset-class weightings all at once.” Look at asset, sector or geographic allocations, do them together. 3. “Keep tax efficiency in mind.” 4. “Be prepared to tinker.” This is more likely in the case of actively managed funds. 5. “Get over your trepidation about buying bonds.”
Target date funds are funds that rebalance assets based on a future date, and typically get more conservative closer to retirement. And the use of target date funds inf 401(k) plans continues to increase, according to a report by the Investment Company Institute and the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The report found that 41% of 401(k) participants held target-date funds in 2012 with 15% of their assets invested in them. This compared with 39% that held target-date funds at the end of 2011 the previous year, with 13% of their assets invested in them.
The Biggest Financial Story In The World Is Playing Out In China (Business Insider)
Forget the Fed taper, the biggest financial story in the world right now is playing out in China, according to Patrick Chovanec, chief strategist at Silvercrest Asset Management. China’s seven-day repurchase rate climbed to 8.94% and some argue that this is a repeat of the credit crunch we saw in June. But what’s the biggest take away from this? “I think it’s starting to dawn on people just how fragile, and what’s the word I’m looking for, tangled China’s financial system has become,” Chovanec told Business Insider.
“A lot of people say they hold $US3.5 trillion in reserves, they own the banks, which is all true, though the bit about the $US3.5 trillion in reserves is irrelevant. But people would say stuff like it’s inconceivable that we would see any form of financial instability in China. Well what we’re seeing is a form of financial instability.
“It takes place in the context of a week ago when a major trust blowing up. So it’s not some kind of isolated thing, we see yields rising across the board, we’ve seen a major trust product blow up, the latest of many that did not garner the same attention. Credit risk is rising, you talk to most Chinese officials, they’ll admit credit risk is rising. And we see overall debt levels rise dramatically in China. And we’ve got the interbank lending market, which is keeping everyone from defaulting, is on the verge of a breakdown. Because once you get above 10% the market begins to break down.”
The S&P 500 is expected to give 25 – 30% returns in 2013 and some worry that we’re in for a correction in the new year. But LPL Financial’s Jeff Kleintop writes that 25-30% returns aren’t that rare, and have occurred in five other years. The S&P 500 has offered 15%-20% returns in eleven years.
“Historically after a one-year total return in the 25 — 30% range, the S&P 500 has followed it up by more solid years of gains,” according to Kleintop. “In fact, most of the years were actually followed by several years of strong gains, as was the case in 1943, 2003, and 2009.”
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is looking for comments on a proposal called Comprehensive Automated Risk Data System (CARDS) that could help it spot “‘red flags’ of sales practice misconduct and help us identify potential business conduct problems with firms, branches and registered representatives,” FINRA’s executive vice president Susan Axelrod said in a press release.
“In its first phase, the CARDS program will increase FINRA’s ability to protect the investing public by utilising automated analytics on brokerage data to identify problematic sales practice activity. FINRA plans to analyse CARDS data before examining firms on site, thereby identifying risks earlier and shifting work away from the on-site exam process.”
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