Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban says the volatility in the markets is being driven by high frequency trading. “What happens is that there are so many different algorithms that are competing from different sources with each other that they are playing a game like 'Terminator Rise of The Machine,' he told Fox Business. "They are all going up against each other. It’s not like everybody that you know rushed to call their broker and sold stocks late this afternoon. [Instead] there were multiple algorithms that appeared to have decided to sell a lot of different asset classes, which in turn triggered other algorithms, which in turn triggered other algorithms; it was a cascading effect. That’s the danger of when you have algorithms trading and there’s no human intervention,” As a result, Cuban said he's been hedging his liquid portfolio, and actually made out pretty well in the sell off. "It’s so hard for anybody to make money in these markets [because] they’re almost impossible to understand," he said.
Is there such a thing as providing too much service? Apparently there is, according to a new white paper from Kaleido. Many firms are losing an average of 2 percent of their client base per year. Why? The RIA practice growth consultant found that many firms are continuously adding too many new, unfocused services to meet the needs of clients they bring onboard. But by flooding clients with a variety of services—instead of highly focused offerings geared toward specific needs—firms are really only burdening available resources and decreasing the overall quality. Add in the increased competition and fee compression and it becomes a concerning situation.
In the latest instance of a welcome trend in the past several years, yet another piece of art looted by the Nazis has been returned to the heirs of its rightful owners by the German government. Last week, the German state of Baden-Württemberg returned a Renaissance-era Hans Wertinger painting titled “Bildnis Pfalzgraf Johann III" to the heirs of Jewish art dealers Isaac Rosenbaum and Saemy Rosenberg. The dealers were forced to sell the work in 1936 and then deposit the proceeds into a Nazi government account. The piece, with an estimated five-figure value, had been housed in the collection of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart since 1948. According to the Stuttgart Zeitung, state secretary Jürgen Walter noted, “We stand by our historic responsibility to identify and return cultural goods expropriated from those persecuted by the Nazi regime."