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In a recent article for the Wall Street Journal, author Mark Hulbert defends the use of ETFs in opposition to people who say direct indexing is a superior method of investing. Many brokerage firms that have created direct-indexing platforms say direct indexing is better as it allows investors to create a customized index without stocks that they don't want and also can strategically harvest tax losses. However, Hubert believes that most of direct indexing’s supposed advantages can be duplicated by ETFs at a lower cost. For instance, customizing an index can be duplicated. According to Lawrence Tint, the former U.S. CEO of BGI, the organization that created iShares, now part of BlackRock, anybody could achieve the same result by buying a generic index ETF and then selling short the stocks that we want to avoid. Tint also doubts that direct indexing’s ability to harvest tax losses outweighs the cost savings of investing in a low-cost ETF. He stated that, over time, an investor who sells his losers from his direct-index portfolio will increasingly be left with a portfolio of mostly unrealized gains. So, the benefit of being able to decide when to take tax losses will fall over time. An investor will also have to pay higher fees each year to maintain the direct index. In addition, he also noted that tax-loss harvesting is only applicable to taxable accounts.

Finsum:In an article for the Wall Street Journal, author Mark Hulbert defends the use of ETFs against direct indexing as its ability to harvest tax losses outweighs the cost savings of a low-cost ETF, while customization can be replicated by buying an index and shorting the stocks you don’t want.

Sunday, 12 March 2023 17:03

Offshore Oil Rebound Underway

While offshore oil drilling has been growing slowly in recent years, research firm Rystad Energy expects a surge in new spending over the next two years. Energy companies had previously been hesitant to commit to expensive new projects that can take years to pay off. But with oil and gas demand rising after the pandemic, some companies are now looking for projects that can offer reliable production in the longer term. According to Rystad Energy, the offshore oil and gas industry has $214 billion of new project investments lined up in the next two years, the highest two-year total in a decade. In fact, it will mark the first time since 2012-2013 that companies have spent this much to develop offshore projects. According to Rystad, “Offshore activity is expected to account for 68% of all sanctioned conventional hydrocarbons in 2023 and 2024, up from 40% between 2015-2018.” Middle Eastern producers will account for most of the growth, however, there are projects off several continents. For example, U.K. offshore spending is expected to rise 30% this year to $7 billion, while spending on Norwegian projects could increase 22% to $21 billion, according to Rystad. Plus, North America, Brazil, and Guyana are all seeing growth as well.

Finsum:According to research firm Rystad Energy, a surge in new spending for offshore oil drilling is expected over the next two years as companies look for projects that can offer reliable production in the longer term with oil and gas demand rising.

Sunday, 12 March 2023 17:01

Checklist: How to Get Clients

One of the toughest challenges a financial advisor will face is finding clients that are willing to trust you and let you manage their money. Suzanne Wentley, a professional writer and marketing consultant wrote a checklist article for the email marketing firm Constant Contact on how to get clients as a financial advisor. Her first action step is to nail your pitch and create a proposal packet filled with information that lets your prospective clients know what sets you apart from other financial advisors. Her next step is to improve your website ranking. She recommends a well-designed, mobile-responsive website that is optimized for SEO by integrating keywords that people search for. Wentley’s third step is to get listed in directories such as The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, Garrett Planning Network, Boomerater, Paladin Registry, and the Financial Planning Association Directory. Her next step is to request and monitor reviews. For instance, when someone leaves a review, you should respond to it quickly and professionally. Wentley’s fifth step is to find networking opportunities through LinkedIn or hosting small in-person events. Writing guest blogs is another tool to gain new clients. Look for relevant sites where your clients are likely to spend time and submit blog ideas to those sites. The seventh and final action step is to try paid advertisements as such as Google Ads and see what keywords and messaging are most effective.

Finsum:Marketing consultant Suzanne Wentley provided a seven-step action plan for getting clients, including nailing your pitch, improving your website ranking, getting listed in directories, requesting and monitoring reviews, finding networking opportunities, writing guest blogs, and trying paid advertisements.


According to a report by Nationwide, women investors are getting more uneasy about their retirement prospects as market volatility continues and inflation remains a concern. Nationwide’s eighth annual “Advisor Authority” study, which is sponsored by its Nationwide Retirement Institute, found that more than 40% of women believe the U.S. is in a financial crisis, with another 24% believing that one is looming. Women are also feeling discouraged about retirement preparedness as the report found that nearly nine in 10 women (87%) said that no matter what they do to manage their finances, they still feel blindsided by events outside their control. That marks a double-digit percentage point increase over last year as only 76% voiced that sentiment in 2022. Nationwide also noted that more than half of non-retired women investors (54%) believe that inflation poses the most immediate challenge to their retirement. Thirty-eight percent also cited economic recession as a disruptor, while 21% pointed to market volatility. The “Advisor Authority” research was conducted online within the U.S. by the Harris Poll on behalf of Nationwide in January. The survey included 511 advisors and financial professionals and 789 investors aged 18 or over with investable assets of more than $10,000.

Finsum:According to Nationwide’s eighth annual “Advisor Authority” study, women investors are more uneasy about their retirement portfolios as market volatility, inflation, and a potential economic recession remain a concern.

According to Morningstar's separate account/collective investment trust database, the top-performing fixed-income managers in 2022 managed to post positive returns during a historically tough year for the asset class. Five of the top 10 managers were in Morningstar's ultrashort bond category, while three were in the multisector bond category. The remaining two included one in the non-traditional bond category, and one, which was the top overall, in Morningstar's muni national long bond category. That top-performing strategy was the 16th Amendment Advisors LLC's Vicksburg strategy, which posted a gross return of 46.03% for the year. John J. Lee, a co-founder and managing member of the firm, said in an email to Pension & Investments, that the strategy benefited from a "cautious and bearish outlook on interest rates in general. Further, it took advantage of the disarray in the marketplace due to sharply rising rates and historically volatile markets." Lee said that it “holds investment-grade municipal bonds, corporate bonds, and their hedges in a strategy that is targeted to investors looking for non-correlated high-grade fixed-income exposure.” The second-ranked strategy was T. Rowe Price's dynamic global bond strategy, which returned 4.66% for the year. The strategy falls into Morningstar's non-traditional bond category and holds U.S. and international debt securities.

Finsum:According to Morningstar's SMA/CIT database, five of the top ten performing fixed-income managers were in the ultrashort bond category, three were in the multisector bond category, while the top two overall were in the muni national long bond category and the non-traditional bond category.

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