FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for financial advisors.
Even wealthy people are using robo advisors, and that’s bad news for the banks (Bloomberg)
It used to be that millennials and small investors were the only ones using robo advisors. But times are changing. Bloomberg reports that about 15% of Charles Schwab’s robo assets come from investors with at least $1 million. That trend is being seen at other robo advisors as well. About 50% of Betterment assets and 33% of Wealthfront assets come from investors with at least $100,000. “You’re seeing experimentation from people with much larger portfolios, where they’re taking a portion of their money and putting them in these offerings to try them out,” Kendra Thompson, a managing director at Accenture, told Bloomberg.
The Chinese New Year is coming (Business Insider Australia)
The Chinese New Year begins Monday and will keep markets across Asia shuttered for at least a couple of days. Mainland China and Taiwan will see their markets closed for the entire week as they bring in the Year of the Monkey. The New Year is celebrated with a huge family reunion or dinner where elder family members give children red envelopes containing monetary gifts. Chinese families clean their homes for the New Year as a “ritualistic sweeping away of all the evil spirits feared to be lurking in dark corners behind heavy and rarely moved pieces of furniture.” If you’re celebrating, don’t forget to tell your friends and family “xīnnián kuàilè!” or “happy new year!”
The unemployment rate hit its lowest level since February 2008 (Business Insider)
The US economy added 151,000 jobs in January, missing the addition of 190,000 jobs that was expected by the Bloomberg consensus. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.9%, making for the lowest print since February 2008. Meanwhile, average hourly earnings climbed 2.5% year-over-year and the average workweek edged up to 34.6 hours.
Advisory clients don’t really care about higher fees (Think Advisor)
Think Advisor says a new SEI Advisor report found advisor fears of losing affluent households ($250,000 or more in investable assets) as a result of higher fees are unfounded. According to SEI, 22% of mass affluent ($250,000 to $999,00 in investable assets) and 16% of high net worth ($1 million or more) say higher fees wouldn’t change their relationship with their advisor at all. Additionally, 27% of the mass affluent investors (and 27% of the HNW investors) would stay with their advisors even if they didn’t grant reduced fees after being asked to do so.
The National Federation of Independent Business’ monthly survey found hiring by small businesses increased in January. 52% of small businesses reported they were hiring or trying to hire during the month; however, many said they were unable to because they were having trouble finding skilled workers. “This suggests that employers will face continued wage and benefit cost pressure in order to attract and keep good employees,” NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg said.
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