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Starting Salaries In Accounting And Finance Are Going To Rise New Year (Financial Planning)
The average starting salaries for accounting and finance professionals in the US are expected to rise 3.5% next year, according to the staffing company Robert Half.
Salaries are expected to increase because staff accountants, senior financial analysts, and business systems analysts are in “strong demand.” Salaries will see higher than average increases in order to attract professionals to these jobs.
“Hiring demand is placing pressure on the supply of skilled workers in many specialties, particularly in the technology and financial fields,” said Paul McDonald, Robert Half senior executive director. “It’s crucial for businesses to benchmark salaries to remain competitive, especially in a market where skilled candidates know they are in demand.”
Investors should consider index mutual funds for several reasons.
“If you’re making regular investments, such as monthly or quarterly IRA deposits or a dollar-cost averaging strategy, the commissions from trading ETFs generally make them much more expensive than a no-load, no-transaction-fee mutual fund. However, some ETFs are available commission-free at some brokerages and could be suitable for small, regular investments,” according to Michael Iachini.
Additionally, mutual funds have lower annual operating expenses. If mutual funds are the expense leader, investors are better off with mutual funds than ETFs — especially after considering commission costs on the ETF.
And finally, mutual funds are a better choice if ETFs are traded infrequently. “If the ETF you’re considering trades infrequently, this could lead to large bid/ask spreads discrepancies between the price you pay for the ETF and the net asset value (NAV) per share of the fund’s underlying securities,” writes Iachini. On the flip side, mutual funds always trade at NAV “without any bid/ask spreads.”
Investors Should Blend Passive ETFs And Active Strategies (BlackRock Blog)
The market is changing, and therefore it may be time for investors to refresh their portfolios. Investors should assess their current fixed income allocations to determine the risk. There are two main risks with fixed income investing. First, there’s interest rate risk, which is “the risk a bond will lose value as interest rates rise.” And second, there’s credit risk, which is “the risk that a bond issuer will default and be unable to make payments to bond holders.”
“The [current] environment for income seekers is not as plain vanilla and once dimensional as perhaps it once was,” writes BlackRock’s Rob Kron. “In today’s low-yield world, US Treasuries aren’t likely to provide the level the income you seek all on their own.”
As a result, investors should consider unconstrained income strategies, international bonds, municipal bonds, or ETFs.
And the best option would be to blend the passive ETFs and active strategies “that allow you greater flexibility and enhanced affordability in managing your market exposures,” adds Kron. Plus, variety helps to curb risk.
Markets Aren’t Great At Forecasting Yields (Vanguard)
US bond yields have been below historical long-term averages, and investors keep waiting for them to jump higher. But just because they have been low for some time now, doesn’t mean that they will. In actuality, market predictions about yields “often miss the mark,” according to Vanguard.
“At the end of 2010, the market believed yields were at such low levels that a significant rise was in the offing. The blue line in the chart below shows where the market expected US Treasury yields to be three years down the road (as indicated by the so-called forward yield curve). For some maturities, those expectations implied that yields would more than double,” the Vanguard note says.
And the green line shows that Treasury yields at the end of 2013 were well below market expectations. According to the data, treasury yields at the end of 2013 are even lower than three years earlier.
Wealthy People Are Increasingly Donating To Initiatives That Provide Long-Term Solutions (Wealth Management.com)
Ultra wealthy individuals (defined as those with net assets of over $US30 million) are “increasingly focusing on philanthropic initiatives that provide long-term solutions by enabling the less fortunate to seize opportunities through entrepreneurialism, and using their own business acumen to measure the effectiveness of their philanthropic endeavours and to maximise their returns,” writes Mykolas Rambus, the CEO of Wealth-X.
On average, ultra wealthy individuals give away 10% of their lifetime net worth — which totals to around $US240 million. Over 50% of ultra wealthy individuals donate at least $US1 million.
“Charitable giving by the rich has almost bounced back to pre-crisis levels, and some $US86 billion in bequests are expected over the next 10 years, according to a new report released Friday by Wealth-X and Arton Capital.”
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