FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for financial advisors.
FINRA fines in 2014 more than double 2013 (Financial Planning)
FINRA has taken a more active approach against registered representatives. The agency levied fines totaling $US135 million dollars in 2014, up from $US60 million in the previous year. Financial Planning notes, “While fines were up, the number of disciplinary actions overall declined in 2014, falling 9% to 1,397 from 1,535 in 2013.”
PIMCO suggests returns in the ‘New Neutral’ “are likely to be less ‘continuous,’ more violent and more random in the future given the structural changes in initial conditions and end investor reaction functions.” Investors should be mindful of the possibility of ‘fat tails’ and take an active management approach going forward.
Gold is losing its luster (Bloomberg)
Gold demand is suffering as the US economy continues emerge from the financial crisis.
Bloomberg notes,”The net-long position in gold tumbled 18 per cent to 110,164 futures and options contracts in the week ended Feb. 17, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data. It was the third consecutive decline, the longest streak since November. Short holdings surged 44%, the most since August.”
“I view it as insurance. If nothing happens, you should expect to lose money on it. Most of the time, nothing happens. As a risk asset, I think equities are more attractive,” commented Jack Ablin, CIO at BMO Private Bank.
Gundlach’s DoubleLine to launch actively managed ETF (Investment News)
Doubleline Funds announced the launch of its SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical exchange-traded fund. The ETF is the 26th to be launched in 2015 and only the 120th to be actively managed. According to Investment News, the ETF “will invest mostly in U.S. investment-grade debt, though it can invest as much as 25% in high-yield debt and up to 25% in emerging markets.” The fee will cost investors 0.55% of assets, on par with PIMCO’s ETF.
Stifel announces it will buy Sterne Agee for $US150 million (Wall Street Journal)
Stifel announced plans to buy Sterne Agee for $US150 million. The takeover will bolster Stifel’s brokerage business by more than 33%, bringing its total number of advisors and independent brokers to more than 2800. “Stifel’s brokerage force would still be only about one-fifth the size of Morgan Stanley’s, as measured by the number of brokers,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
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