A survey of more than 1,100 financial advisors found that in the upcoming presidential election, they favor Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. The poll by Advisor Perspectives, which included 13 candidates including Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul and others who have since dropped out, revealed that only 7.5 percent would choose Donald Trump for president. Rubio received 15.5 percent of the votes, followed by Hillary Clinton with 12.9 percent and former New York City and Bloomberg LP CEO Mayor Michael Bloomberg with 10.3 percent. Bloomberg announced on Monday that he would not engage in a third-party run for the White House, worried that it would only hand the election to Trump or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. According to rules of the Electoral College, if no candidate receives the 270 electoral votes needed to become president, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives would then choose the winner.
What happens when market indexes evolve from benchmarks to targets for the massive flows of investor dollars? Patrick O’Shaughnessy, an asset manager and the author of Millennial Money, makes the argument that as index investing grows in popularity (more than half of all mutual fund assets are in indexed or closet-indexed strategies), the indexes themselves cease being good measures of stock market performance and instead drive that performance, putting the valuation of the stocks out of whack. While near-free access to markets (via indexing) is important, he writes “I’d rather pay 100 bps for an S&P 500 index fund trading at 12 times normalized earnings than 5 basis points for the same market trading at 25 times earnings.” He demonstrates how the price-to-book measure of value, a favorite for value indexes, has decoupled from other valuation metrics in recent years as its popularity has grown, and since 2007 is the only value metric to post negative cumulative excess returns.
A new app only available outside the U.S. allows people to invest in stocks and bonds using bitcoin. Simon Burns and Stefan Britton created Keza, an iOS app, and have so far raised $347,000 in funding, according to NASDAQ. The two founders came up with the idea while they were looking for a way to invest their bitcoin, and say that it allows investors in emerging markets to get access to modern financial services and investment options, reports Cryptocoinsnews.com. A user will choose between a moderate, conservative or aggressive portfolio, deposit bitcoin and track their investments; there are no minimums. While it’s not yet available in the U.S., you can sign up for early access at GetKeza.com.
In honor of International Women’s Day on Tuesday, the Institute for Women's Policy Research put out a report detailing that the pay gap between women and men slipped from 82.5 cents on the dollar in 2014, to 81.1 cents in 2015. The study found that women’s median weekly full-time earnings earnings were $726 last year, compared $895 for men. In addition, on an annual growth rate controlled for inflation, women’s earnings increased by 0.9 percent, while men’s earnings rose by 2.6 percent since 2014. The gender wage gap means that women have to work about three months extra to earn the same as men, MarketWatch is reporting. One reason: Women dominate in education, which isn’t typically a high-paying jobs sector, while men dominate in the high-paying IT field. Adjusting for job choices, the Pew Research Center found that women earn 84 cents for every dollar made by men, shortening the duration it would take women to bridge the income gap to 40 days.