FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for financial advisors.
Americans are feeling more financially secure (Bankrate)
Bankrate’s Financial Security Index climbed to 102.6 in September (101.2 in August), its highest since June. All five of the index’s components, job security, savings, debt, net worth and overall financial situation, saw improvement. Young people, aged 18-to-29, noted the biggest increase in their overall feelings about their financial situation, as almost twice many people nearing retirement, aged 50-to-64, said their net worth was lower than last year. Also of note, the survey found 30% of Americans are feeling more secure about their jobs than a year ago and 50% feel the same.
First Niagara Financial is exploring strategic alternatives (Dealreporter)
Dealreporter says First Niagara Financial has hired JP Morgan to explore strategic alternatives. According to the report, the bank is exploring its options after failing to see an earnings boost from the acquisitions it made in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Currently, First Niagara’s market cap is about $US3.6 billion.
Bill Gross thinks the Fed needs to hike rates (Business Insider)
In his October investment outlook, Bill Gross says the Fed should “Get off zero and get off quick.” According to Gross, the Fed needs to take some short-term pain by hiking rates in order to improve the long-term health of the US economy. Gross was expecting the Fed to hike its key rate at the September meeting and believes “zero bound interest rates destroy the savings function of capitalism.”
Social media is helping advisors land big clients (Think Advisor)
American Century Investments’ sixth annual Financial Professionals Social Media Adoption Study found almost 43% of advisors say their use of social media has produced results. More than one in four advisors surveyed has received a small amount of business (less than $US1 million) as a result of their social media use while 10% have reportedly landed accounts of between $US1 million and $US3 million, Think Advisor says. Additionally, 3% of respondents have gained at least $US5 million of new business from their presence on social media.
Robo-advisor NextCapital is going after target-date funds (Financial Advisor)
Robo-advisor NextCapital has upgraded its platform to take on target-date funds. According to Financial Advisor, the new platform will allow customers to use its platform as a default option for 401(k) plans. “Target-date funds were a good solution 10 years ago, but now technology is in place to deliver all these important components into an individual account,” Bob Foregger, NextCapital’s co-founder told Financial Advisor. He continued, “Target-date funds are a semi-personalised vehicle, there’s currently $US800 billion invested in them, and there’s another $US80 billion going into them each year as qualified default investment alternatives.” NextCapital’s new platform will allow advisors to customise investment options while also providing a retirement calculator, Social Security projection and wealth spend-down forecast, Financial Advisor says.
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