The Securities and Exchange Commission released 15 tips to help first-time investors make better decisions in the year ahead. Number one on the list? “Always check the background of an investment professional – it is easy and free.” The regulatory also says paying off those credit cards and loans may be the best investment strategy. Other tips: Don’t ignore fees; diversification can reduce risk; and before investing, check whether a security is registered with the SEC.
New Year, New Firm
A New York-based team overseeing $550 million in assets has left UBS to join HighTower’s partnership. TC Wealth Management advisors J. Emmett Towey and J. Michael Cantore III are HighTower’s first recruits of the year. The firm made 13 transitions in 2014.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 331 points, or 1.86 percent, on Monday on worries about the euro’s continued decline, Greece’s potential exit from the Eurozone, and oil prices hitting new lows. The S&P 500 also dropped 37 points, or 1.83 percent, marking the fourth consecutive day of losses, the longest losing streak in more than a year. The drops in both the Dow and S&P are both the largest in nearly a month.
In its sixth annual ranking of U.S. banks, Forbes ranked New York-based Signature Bank as the best. Signature has posted 20 straight quarters of record earnings, a 13.8 percent return on average equity in 2015, and ranked in the top five for non-performing assets as a percent of total assets (0.1 percent), nonperforming loans as a percent of total loans (0.15 percent) and reserves as a percent of NPLs (634 percent). While four biggest banks reported lackluster revenue growth, Signature grew 21 percent last year.