Just Say No

Just Say No

This year advertisers paid a total of $377 million, nearly $5 million for each 30-second slot during Sunday’s Super Bowl game, up from the $4.5 million paid last year. Like in years past, consumer brands like Snickers, Doritos and Budweiser made their annual contributions. Missing from the action? Financial firms. Once e*Trade bowed out in 2014, there have been few financial firms represented. Maybe they’re taking a page from other advertiser’s playbook that chose instead to ‘ambush’ the game via social media. According to AdWeek, brands like Volvo and Esurance have scored big on social media in recent years, opting to create ad campaigns for the Internet. Volvo’s "The Greatest Interception Ever," trended globally on Twitter and yielded a 70.7 percent year-over-year increase in XC60 sales in February 2015. Meanwhile Esurance saved 30 percent, or $1.5 million by airing their ad after the super bowl. The #EsuranceSave30 campaign received 5.3 million mentions and 2.6 billion social impressions globally.

The Futures Market: Full of Uncertainty

A Magic 8 Ball is just as accurate. | Copyright Scott Olson, Getty Images

With so much volatility in the stock market, investors and traders alike are constantly looking at the futures market as a possible prognosticator of what's to come for the markets that day. While that may seem logical, the futures markets are just as often incorrect as any other way of trying to predict the markets, writes Sheyna Steiner for Bankrate.com. In fact, the futures markets failed to predict the stock market collapse in 2008, the inflation spikes between 2004 and 2008 and have seen their predictive nature diminish since the early 2000s. Ben Bernanke, back when he was Fed Chair in 2008 even said, that "it does seem reasonable … to treat the forecasts of commodity prices obtained from futures markets, and subsequently the forecasts of aggregate price inflation, as highly uncertain." However, the futures markets are better at predicting some assets than others. Energy futures tend to be more correct than other commodities, particularly because that market is more well established and has lots of liquidity.

Another Robo for Advisors

Welcome to the club. | davincidig/iStock/Thinkstock

Advisor Software, a wealth management software provider, announced its new white-labeled robo advisor platform during TD Ameritrade Institutional’s National LINC conference in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday. The new platform, called ASI Digital Advisor, will allow advisors to onboard and manage investment advice clients. It includes a lead generation tool that advisors can put on their own website and a mobile-responsive investor portal. Advisors can customize certain aspects of the portal, including their own branding, investment products, and approach to model selection. "Competitive platforms often ask advisors to make too many compromises. With our solution, advisors can easily modernize the user experience for their clients without having to alter the way they do business,” said Andrew Rudd, chairman and CEO of Advisor Software.

Cat Burglars

Cats, cats everywhere. | Photo by Andree Kehn, River Valley Sun Journal

The executors of an estate have been accused of redirecting funds away from the rightful beneficiaries—the stray cat population of Dixfield, Maine. According to the River Valley Sun Journal, when Barbara Thorpe died in 2002, she left the bulk of her $200,000 estate to provide “shelter, food and health care for abandoned and unwanted cats in the town of Dixfield.” Unfortunately, she didn’t mention a specific recipient charity, and that’s all the leeway that her allegedly unscrupulous executors, who’ve been fighting the bequest for years, have needed to largely avoid paying anything out. They’ve reportedly only distributed a few thousand dollars in the 13 intervening years, far less than they’ve paid themselves to manage the estate. The town of Dixfield, along with five local cat caretakers have filed suit against them for unjust enrichment, among other charges.

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