ETFs sold through retail channels in the first quarter outpaced mutual funds for the first time in four years. ETF assets being sold through independent b/ds, wirehouses, RIAs and discount brokerage firms grew $267 billion over the past year, while mutual fund assets sold through those channels increased $255 billion, according to data by Broadridge Financial Solutions. “ETFs are gaining ground among retail distributors driven by a few key factors, namely their low cost structure, but also the fact that ETFs are used in asset allocation models, which are more prevalent among retail advisors,” said Frank Polefrone, senior vice president of Access Data, a Broadridge company.
In an effort to encourage greater retirement savings among American workers, the Financial Services Roundtable launched the “Save 10” initiative. The nationwide effort aims to boost the number of employers offering “auto-save” programs that help employees save 10 percent of their income for retirement. Nearly 82 percent of employees save for retirement when their employers offer auto save programs, such as auto-enrollment in a retirement plan upon being hired and auto-escalating an employee’s savings contributions as income rises. Meanwhile, just 64 percent save for retirement when employers do not offer these programs. To be considered for recognition as a Save 10 employer, companies will certify that they meet certain criteria such as offering a retirement plan and contributing to employee retirement accounts.
Thirty-two percent of small business owners want help finding money to market their business, but only 8 percent have a financial mentor, according to a recent study by Capitol One. To help bridge the gap, Capital One partnered with Pacific Community Ventures to launch BusinessAdvising.org, a website to connect small businesses owners, particularly in low-income communities, with volunteer financial advisors to help create and follow a business plan. The website is part of Capital One’s $150 million initiative to support entrepreneurs with digital technology, and Capital One said it’s investing an additional $500,000 in low-interest loans to Pacific Community Ventures for small business owners. Financial advisors interested in volunteering as a business advisor can do so on the website.
Aside from physical and emotional tolls, there is a silent, third factor involved in almost all incidences of domestic violence: financial abuse. According to a new study by the Allstate Foundation, financial abuse is present in 98 percent of domestic violence situations, but for victims, that high percentage doesn't necessarily correlate to long-term consequences. In fact, according to the survey, only 3 percent of the 1,220 respondents say that financial abuse will cause them long-term damage. The Allstate Foundation notes that financial abuse can range from destroying a victim’s credit rating to controlling the victim’s bank accounts and paychecks.