Charles Schwab has added 12 new exchange traded funds to its commission-free ETF program, Schwab ETF OneSource, bringing the total to 254 ETFs on the platform. It includes new ETFs from Deutsche Asset Management, Global X Funds, Guggenheim, State Street, IndexIQ and WisdomTree. (PIMCO has also doubled the number of ETFs with the addition of three multi-factor products.) The ETF OneSource platform now has over $100 billion in assets as of Nov. 30, up 47 percent in 2017.
Risks associated with financial technology are now a top concern in the boardrooms of financial services companies, according to a recent survey of 728 board members and C-suite executives across the globe. While regulatory changes and scrutiny continue to be viewed as the top risk, respondents to the survey, by Protiviti and North Carolina State University’s ERM Initiative, said fintech is now the second-highest risk. A report published with the survey results noted that technology’s evolution and implementation has increased dramatically in the last two years and firms are worried about modifying their businesses in a timely manner, while also protecting themselves and their clients. One of the highest areas of concern: customer data—something all financial services companies collect a lot of.
AARP and the North American Securities Administrators Association has launched a new online tool to help investors through the process of interviewing and hiring a financial advisor. AARP Interview an Advisor is free to anyone, regardless of whether they’re an AARP member. The tool suggests a series of questions investors should ask their prospective advisors, including their qualifications, methods of compensation and fiduciary status. It also includes a sample script to start the conversation. “While Registered Investment Advisors serve as fiduciaries who are required to provide advice that is in their clients’ best interests, many other financial advisors operate under different requirements that obligate them only to make recommendations that are ‘suitable,’” said Jean Setzfand, senior vice president, programs, AARP. “AARP’s new interactive guide will help investors avoid confusion about a financial professional’s standards and qualifications.”