The Most Important People In Wealth Management Are The Lowly Sales Assistants

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‘Sales Assistants Might Be The Most Important Players On Wealth-Management Team’ (The Wall Street Journal)

“Sales assistants may be the most important players on wealth-management teams,” writes Norb Vonnegut in The Wall Street Journal. 

“Not for the obvious reasons. Sure, sales assistants keep the wheels on the office bus. How often do they save advisers from being fired for blowing mechanics like wire transfers? And sure, they set the tone for incoming calls. I worked with one who made clients feel like they were the most important people on Wall Street. How do you put a price tag on that?

“I am talking about something less obvious–and far more valuable. Sales assistants are the first line of defence against rogue partners.”

Mark Mobius: Many Investors Make One Big Mistake (Advisor Perspectives)

Mark Mobius thinks it is important for investors to take a long term view. It is easy for investors to be swayed by ‘herding’ or suffer the “whipsaw effect – buying and selling at the wrong times.” You need to have a long term view to invest in a bear market. He also thinks many investors are making one big mistake.

“I think it’s important to be diversified not only across different companies, but across different industries and, most importantly, across different countries. One reason why professionally managed strategies are so popular globally is because they enable investors to be well-diversified and have a variety of stocks that they probably couldn’t properly research and invest in themselves. Unfortunately, many investors have portfolios that invest in only one country… their own. I see this as a big mistake because they are missing out on potential opportunities all over the globe, which is the job of my team and I to uncover.”

mum-And-Pop Investors Are Dumping Bond Funds Like Crazy (Dr. Ed’s Blog)

At his press conference Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said the 7% jobless rate threshold would show a substantial improvement in the labour market and a move towards this could prompt the Fed to begin tapering its bond purchase program this year. 

“The most immediate impact has been a sharp drop in mortgage refinancing activity,” wrote Ed Yardeni. “Another immediate impact is that retail bond investors are running for the exit doors as the Fed publicly lays out its exit strategy from ultra-easy monetary policy. The ICI reported huge estimated weekly net cash outflows from bond mutual funds of $13.5 billion during the week of June 12, following a $10.9 billion outflow the prior week.”

bond fund flows

The Pros And Cons Of Indexing (Vanguard)

The argument over indexing and active management continues in the Wealth Management industry. Vanguard is of course well known for passive investing.

Vanguard’s Joe Brennan argues that the reason indexing has seen cash inflow in the past few years is because it “embodies those couple of keys that tend to bring investment success, such as low costs, diversification, and long-term discipline. Increasing numbers of investors are focusing on those types of products, including ETFs.” The problem with active management he says is that they are rarely low cost.

Vanguard’s John Ameriks does point out though, “that the one thing index funds can’t deliver is a significant opportunity to outperform, which is only possible through an active approach.”

The Great Bond Bull Market Is Over (Deutsche Bank)

Deutsche Bank’s Joe LaVorgna has declared that the bull market in bonds is officially over. After being held to an “artificially-low, central bank-induced level,” he says, rates can only rise.

He does however think there is a limit to how high they can go. “The steepest the 10-year treasury has been relative to the fed funds rate using monthly data has been 385 bps in December 1992. In the last business cycle, the 10s-fed funds spread went as high as 372 bps in May 2004, but this was just one month before the Fed began raising interest rates.”

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