A lot of people probably wish they could replicate the moves of famous activist investors like Carl Icahn, Bill Ackman and Daniel Loeb, fund managers who have achieved high returns by rattling the cages of corporate CEOs and boardroom members to change strategies and “focus on shareholder value.” Global X recently launched an ETF to give retail investors the ability to do just that. The Global X Guru Activist Index ETF (ACTX) gives investors access to 50 of the top equity holdings that are targets of major activist investors, without having to pay the 2 and 20 fee structure of a hedge fund. ACTX charges 75 basis points. The fund uses publicly available information from 13F and 13D filings. Top holdings include Halliburton, Microsoft and CBRE Group.
Barclays' is considering selling off its U.S. wealth management business, according to Fox Business. The publication learned that brokers at the firm are being told by their managers a sale could come soon. Barclays' America, which purchased the brokerage unit from Lehman Brothers following its bankruptcy, has seen a wave of departures in recent years. A spokeswoman for Barclays' Americas wouldn’t deny the possible move.
Some people may be getting the message about the looming “retirement crisis.” In a quarterly analysis of retirement savings accounts, Fidelity reported that the average IRA balance was $94,100 at the end of the first quarter, a new record high for the firm and up 5 percent from the previous quarter. More than 1 million workers increased their contribution rate to 401(k)s in the quarter. Since the first quarter 2014, 23 percent of employees increased their 401(k) contribution rates, a record increase for Fidelity.
While millionaires feel like they're in a rat race and can't ever seem to get ahead, those with less net worth care more about their health and that of their spouse than their finances. According to a new Spectrem Group study of non-millionaire households (those with at least $100,000 in net worth), 63 percent are more focused on health than money. Those with less in the bank also worry more about their future and whether they'll wind up in an old-age home, while millionaires are more worried about their children's or grandchildren's finances. Forty percent also worry about the potential that they or their spouse could lose their job and how they're going to afford college for their children.