FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for financial advisors.
Stu Voight’s trial is underway (CBS Minnesota)
The trial of former Minnesota Viking tight end Stu Voight got underway in Minneapolis this week. Voight and his former business partner, Jeffrey Gardner, are accused of operating a $20 million Ponzi scheme that left some investors bankrupt. According to CBS Minneapolis, the US Attorney General’s Office said the duo promised investors returns of 10 to 20% annually and charged them with using the money of new investors to pay back older ones. Both men have pleaded not guilty.
Provinces across China are lowering their growth targets (Business Insider)
It’s no secret that China’s economy is slowing down. Now, provinces across the country are announcing lower growth targets. The state-run People’s Daily reports that 15 provinces have lowered their target while six were left unchanged and three in the northeast were raised. The People’s Daily also said provinces would aim for higher-quality growth rather than just the rate. Most economists forecast China to grow 6.5% to 7% this year.
The crash in oil prices is taking its toll on the energy industry. Bloomberg reports BlackRock Chairman Larry Fink told the New Jersey Pension Investment Council that up to 400 energy companies may fall victim to low oil prices. Fink didn’t name names or predict where oil prices may fall to, but did say the consumer is the big winner from lower prices.
FINRA is taking a closer look at robo advisors (Financial Planning)
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has some questions for broker-dealers that give robo advice. Financial Planning reports that the financial watchdog wants to know specifically how robo advisors determine clients’ risk tolerance and their risk need. Ron A. Rhoades, attorney, fiduciary advocate, and chair of the financial planning program at Western Kentucky University, told Financial Planning, “There is a lot of concern that risk tolerance questionnaires — even if they are 100 questions long — are mere snapshots in time of a clients’ emotional state. And while they may reflect risk tolerance, they really don’t reflect risk need.”
Naureen Hassan has been named Morgan Stanley’s new CDO for wealth management. Hassan leaves Charles Schwab, where she most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Charles Schwab Bank. According to Think Advisor, Hassan will oversee the marketing and strategy of the digital tools and platforms that are used by the firms 16,000 advisors and 3.5 million clients.
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