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.
June 16, 2015What Do You Do With Clients You Can’t Stand?
Most advisors have a few clients who fill them with dread, boredom or loathing. What’s the best remedy?
Fire them — gently, of course. Then take measures to avoid such clients in the future.27% Keep them in-house, by handing them off to colleagues and carrying on as you try to overcome your aversion.
June 9, 2015Where Do You Stand on Using Closed-End Funds?
Closed-end funds are a different sort of investment animal that can help to diversify client portfolios. Do you like to use them?
No way. These funds are fraught with complexities and incongruities.79% Sure. CEFs are great for giving clients more exposure to different asset classes at attractive pricing.
June 2, 2015Do You Invest Money Like an FT 400 Advisor?
The biggest chunk of client assets held by FT 400 advisors are invested through individual stocks and bonds, not funds. Do you side with these elite brokerage-based FAs?
I do. I like crafting individual portfolios for my clients, rather than grabbing stuff off the shelf.61% No way. Funds provide broad exposure to financial markets, with less exposure to blowups at individual companies.
June 1, 2015Where Can You Improve Most as an FA?
If you could get better at any one part of your job, what would it be?
Communication. I wish I could explain myself better.18% Investing. I wish I had the resources to be more hands-on and less plug-and-play.27% Office politics. I need to get better at “the game.”
May 28, 2015What Will Happen to Stocks When the Fed Lowers the Boom?
There’s talk that rising consumer prices could give the Fed an opening to raise rates this summer. If that happens, will it make a difference in the stock market?
Nope, it’s already baked in.71% There’ll be a bump, but nothing serious.11% The market’s mainly up because of Fed QE, so there’ll be an ugly drop — just watch.
May 27, 2015What’s the Best Approach to Private-Equity for Your Clients?
How can wealthy clients best invest in private-equity deals involving properties and businesses?
Look to individual ventures driven by friends, families or our in-house research.54% Hook in with big PE funds that offer smorgasbords of private-investment opportunities.