Which financial experts do investors have the most confidence in? According to a new Spectrem Group study, Warren Buffett has the highest credibility, coming in at 65.23 on a scale of 0 (not at all helpful) to 100 (very helpful). The survey took responses from households with a net worth of at least $100,000. Rounding out the top five were Dave Ramsey (52.65), Jim Cramer (45.28), Bill Gross (42.24) and Donald Trump (34.47).
Nearly two-thirds of defined benefit plans, foundations and endowments eschew the use of ETFs, but that's changing, according to research from Pension & Investments. Among those that don't use the investment vehicle, 14 percent reported that it was "somewhat likely" they would begin to do so within the next year. The reason why ETFs aren't more popular? Forty-six percent say they don't need intraday liquidity and 34 percent say they mostly invest in active strategies. Still, according to Deborah Fuhr, of ETF consulting firm ETFGI LLP, once investors begin to use ETFs, they become fans and continue to do so.
Target date funds used to be all the rage. That was before high-frequency trading, robo-advisors and the financial crisis. Now, they're taking a major hit from the likes of Mike Kane, CEO of the robo-advisor Hedgeable. “In what other industry would it be acceptable to get paid for doing work every five years?” Kane says on Mainstreet.com. "We can react to changing market conditions daily.” Part of the reason why target date funds lost their luster: Holders of target date funds incurred losses of 50 percent or more during the financial crisis. Even the most "conservative" funds lost 22 percent.
Laurence Fink, head of the world’s largest asset management company Blackrock, told attendees of a recent conference that art and high-end urban real estate have replaced gold as the go-to place for wealthy investors to park their money. For centuries bullion has been considered the safest place to park wealth to protect it from inflation, meddling governments or sovereign crisis. Now, according to Fink, ETFs have “democratized” the metal and the price is not stable-unlike, presumably, a Tribeca luxury condo or Damien Hirst piece. “I don’t believe people believe gold is a great store of wealth today.”