August 26, 2015Do You Wish You Were Someplace Far Away?
A lot of people take vacation in the last half of August. Do you wish you were out with them this week, or are you glad you're here to keep investors calm as the stock market tilts south?
I’d rather be missing this over-hyped blip on the screen.61% Significant or not, I’m glad I’m here for my clients’ sake.
August 25, 2015How Bad Can This Market Downturn Really Get?
Recent sessions have been routs — with the China bubble, uncertainty about the Fed’s next moves, and a global slide in commodity prices assigned most of the blame. In your coldest assessment, do we have anything major to worry about here?
Yes. Too many negative forces are converging, and we’re due for some carnage.56% No. It’s just a hiccup (and a buying opportunity).15% It’ll be OK — if the Fed holds off on a hike.
August 18, 2015Who’s the Best Dem Candidate for the Wealth-Advice Industry?
Who among the leading Democratic candidates would be best, as U.S. president, for the financial-advice business. (We limit the field to the top three declared names in most polls, along with a catch-all category for other contenders, official or otherwise. Tell us what you think in the comments.)
Hillary Clinton13% Bernie Sanders3% Martin O’Malley58% Another candidate
August 4, 2015Who’s the Best GOP Candidate for the Wealth-Advice Industry?
At this early stage, which candidate for Republican presidential nominee do you think would be best, as U.S. president, for the financial-advice business? (We limit the field to the top three names in a recent Quinnipiac University poll, along with a catch-all category for all the other official contenders. Feel free to elaborate in the comments.)
Donald Trump18% Scott Walker27% Jeb Bush16% Another candidate
July 21, 2015What’s Your Call on the Impact of Robo-Advice Offerings?
Do you see robo-advice platforms as more of a threat or an opportunity for flesh-and-blood financial advisors?
Threat. Functionality around asset selection and allocation and tax management leave me with more to offer, but it’ll be a harder sell.81% Opportunity. Advisors who can blend robo tech with traditional approaches will be in play for clients who aren’t diehard do-it-yourselfers.
July 14, 2015Do You Plan to Do More Social-Media Marketing?
A decade ago people clamored that you had to have a blog. Will we look back and smile at those who now say the same about social media, or is it an unstoppable train? What are your social-media marketing plans?
I plan to increase my practice’s social-media marketing. It’s important.13% I’ll pass. Social media is a waste of time — I want paying clients, not Twitter followers.25% I’d like to ramp up with social media, but my compliance colleagues make it too difficult.
July 7, 2015What’s the Biggest Threat to the U.S. Stock Market?
Greece, China, the Fed, etc. — there is no shortage of weak spots and traps for the economy. What’s your pick?
Greece, if default fever spreads through the Mediterranean.16% The Fed ending QE II — you can’t simply “bake in” the main reason stocks have been up since the recession.79% It would take an unpleasant surprise — something no one’s focused on — in combination with more controllable weak spots to knock the apple cart over.
June 30, 2015What’s Your Call on This Phase of the Greek Crisis?
Greece closed its banks on Monday amid continued talk the country’s inability to pay its debts might drive it from the eurozone. So what’s your take on the crisis?
It will be contained and have only a slight impact on U.S. markets.29% It will spread to other vulnerable eurozone economies and begin to be felt over here.5% Before a compromise is found, it will get bad — like 2008 bad — for global investors.
June 23, 2015Merrill Lynch or Morgan Stanley?
Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch are giants of the retail-brokerage space and archrivals. So play along: If you had to pick one to work for, which would it be? (Then, if you like, use the comment box to say why.)
Merrill Lynch36% Morgan Stanley
June 17, 2015What Behavioral-Finance Folly Are You a Sucker For?
Here are some of the commonest behavioral-finance biases. Which one is your Achilles’ heel?
Confirmation bias. My research stops when I reach the conclusion I was looking for.35% Optimism bias. I may be wrong sometimes, but I’m rarely in doubt.18% Recency bias. My vision of the future looks uncannily like the present.