Too Big to Fail?

Too Big to Fail?

Building a behemoth.

Vanguard saw a net $219 billion flow into their U.S. mutual funds and ETFs in 2014, and is on track to account for 20 percent of total industry assets by the end of this year. Morningstar calls it the most dominant fund company in history, but asks what that could mean for financial markets. After all, Vanguard led the way when it comes to passive investment strategies and indexing; could too much money be put into passive strategies? Morningstar's John Rekenthaler argues regardless of the size of passive accounts, stock prices are set by active managers who actually do the buying and selling. And no, Rekenthaler says, the increase in passive investments won't undercut itself by reducing competition among active managers, as some have argued.

Soul Mate to Clients?

Tell me your feelings. | Dyanmic Graphics/liquidlibrary/Thinkstock

Some advisors are branching out from their traditional roles as financial planners to build deeper, emotional relationships with clients, according to CNBC. Whether it’s teaching clients thinking skills, helping clients build a "community" of peers, or even becoming a surrogate family, advisors are acting more as therapists and life coaches than financial planners. (United Capital just recently rebranded its business model from “Private Wealth Counseling” to “Financial Life Management.”) Rick Kahler, owner of Kahler Financial Group, for example, said his firm has grown 15 percent a year using the approach. "People tell us things they don't tell their clergy or therapists," he said.

Moving on Up

Fancy.

Triad Advisors recently moved into swanky new digs at the Forum on Peachtree Parkway, an open-air upscale commercial complex in Georgia. The broker/dealer signed a 10-year lease for new headquarters with 21,835 square feet, and will move 63 full time and four part time positions to the new office. “We are confident that our ongoing growth will continue into the future, which has made this move both necessary and welcome,” CEO Mark Mettelman says.

Settling Down

Plenty of peace and quiet in Wyoming. | Copyright Spencer Platt, Getty Images

If you could retire to any state, where would you go? According to a study released Monday by Bankrate, the open spaces of Wyoming are the best place in the country to retire, due to low taxes, low crime and fantastic weather. Other factors considered in the study included community well-being, health care quality and cost of living. Rounding out the top five were Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Virginia. The five worst states to retire were Louisiana, West Virginia, Alaska, New York and Arkansas.

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