FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for financial advisors.
There Is No Safe Way Of Gaining Exposure To Stocks (Business Insider)
Seth Masters, CIO for Bernstein Global Wealth Management, told Business Insider that there was a lot of bubble talk last year but that this was “misdiagnosed” because we should have focused on the “safety” bubble. This encompasses assets like cash, gold, and even high dividend yield stocks, that got very expensive because people thought they were safe at the time. The trickle into high dividend yields stocks has been more recent, but the problem here is that people overpaid for these stocks and “what they were really doing was risky simply because the price had gotten so expensive.”
“It’s remarkable how little people talked about the safety trade and things like cash. Every once in while you hear about that, but there’s very little. And what’s interesting as the safety bubble deflates, what’s happening is that people have suffered an opportunity cost. They haven’t lost gobs and gobs of money, and that’s because safe assets have one virtue: they are relatively less volatile. So, they don’t go down by a lot when they do go down. And I think that means that that sort of damage — the economic damage and the psychological damage from the safety bubble beginning to unwind — are quite modest. So that’s a good thing. It’s still a bubble, but it’s a less dangerous kind of bubble. If people do want to get back into stocks, recognise that they are taking a risk and don’t imagine that there is a safe way of gaining exposure to stocks, there isn’t.”
Big Exits In The Financial Planning Industry (Investment News)
We’re seeing some big exits in the financial planning industry. Craig Gordon, a top executive at RBC Correspondent Services since 2008, has left the firm. He was also a senior executive at RBC Advisor Serivces, reports Trevor Hunnicutt. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, also known as FiNet, is shuffling its top management. Ronald Sallet, a top executive at FiNet is reported to be leaving the firm, according to Mason Braswell and Hunnicutt. Finally, Chet Helck, CEO of Raymond James’ global private-client group is retiring, reports Bruce Kelly.
Investing experts were asked to identify the biggest investment risks in 2014, at a web seminar moderated by Zachary Karabell of Envestnet. Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett said bonds would be the biggest investment risk in 2014 but that we could also see “a shock from Europe this year,” reports James Green of Think Advisor. Rob Arnott of Research Affiliates said demographics that affect growth in developed economies will be the biggest risk to investing. But he also said stocks will see more risk this year “because of our more leveraged economy” though he also thinks risk will rise in both private and public sector bonds.
We’re About To Witness The ‘Second Gold Rush’ In Global Solar (Deutsche Bank)
Deutsche Bank’s Vishal Shah, Jerimiah Booream-Phelps, and Susie Min see a second global solar ‘gold rush.’ But this time around it won’t be driven by subsidies, instead it will be driven by low prices, more financing and the absence of subsidies. “We believe upside demand surprises from the US, Japanese and Chinese markets could continue in 2014. We expect a combination of streamlined incentive programs in China, additional subsidy cut signals in end 2014 and decreasing financing constraints to act as catalysts for upside demand surprises.”
The New Bill Gross Trade Is Getting Creamed (Business Insider)
PIMCO’s Bill Gross thinks investors shouldn’t fight the Fed. He thinks the Fed will stick to its promise to stimulate the economy via zero interest-rate policy for the next two years even as is tapers its asset purchase program. He thinks investors should buy short end bonds and sell long end bonds. But this trade hasn’t done so well recently on account of better economic data. Many think that as the economic recovery picks up the Fed will realise it doesn’t need as much monetary stimulus.
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