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Schwab Brings a Game Changer to the Market, Part III

Thursday, November 12th, 2009, by

Now that Schwab has dipped their toe in the water….take a look at the next four proprietary ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) that will be rolled out in December, bringing their total exposure to eight funds: SCHG:  Schwab U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF This index represents half (375) of the 750 stocks that make up the Dow […]

Schwab Brings a Game Changer to the Market, Part II

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009, by

Schwab had me already at “no commission”, on their new family of Exchange Traded Funds. Then I took a closer look, and was astonished to see that their expense ratio was not only well below the fees charged by I-Shares and SPDRs—but also matching Vanguard on three of their offerings. In fact, Schwab is the […]

Schwab Brings a Game Changer to the Market, Part I

Monday, November 9th, 2009, by

Charles Schwab and Co has dropped a bombshell into the crowded ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) marketplace. So, it looks like the price war that started with books and DVDs this fall has now, finally, come to Wall Street. First, some background. State Street brought the first ETF to market in 1993.  SPY.  The “spider”, so-called, […]

Poetic Justice

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009, by

It might, or might not comfort you to learn that brokers handled their own money as poorly as they did their clients in the recent debacle. As reported in the Wall Street Journal article – “After 27% Fall, FINRA Plays it Safe” (9/25/09, page C1), The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority saw its $1.6 billion hoard […]

Conflict Resolution, Part II

Thursday, August 20th, 2009, by

Surely there must be a more viable model of adviser compensation that aligns the interest of both adviser and client. Here are three options worth considering. 1.  Hourly fee consultation This is ideal for discrete and limited advisory services, such as a plan for college funding, or retirement account rollovers. This option makes sense for […]

Conflict Resolution, Part I

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009, by

As a result of the public revulsion over the financial meltdown, the Feds are going to come down heavy with regulatory overkill. As if that would make the slightest difference. One idea under discussion is that even brokers would be held to the fiduciary standard (i.e. the client’s interests comes first) now applied to fee-only […]

Brokers Behaving Badly…The Saga Continues

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009, by

I’m not sure this item even qualifies as being newsworthy. Whenever a brokerage firm gets caught with its hand in the cookie jar, the spectacle plays out according to the time worn script. Usually, the consent decree does not involve an admission of guilt.  The settlement language simply states that the firm categorically denies any […]

Checking the Beneficiary Box, Part I

Thursday, July 9th, 2009, by

What’s the least favorite topic wealth management clients want to discuss? Their eventual, inevitable demise. Predictably…many put their head in the sand and ignore this eventuality. Which explains the huge percentage of families who have not done the most rudimentary of wills and life insurance protection. But even for these laggards,  your employer’s H.R. department […]