investing chart downward trend graph

Liquid Alts Death Watch

Liquid alts on their last legs, a new fintech competition and Ycharts adds a new feature.

Morningstar writes about the declining investor interest in “liquid alternative” investment strategies, and notes that if it weren’t for “a small handful” of managers that continue to attract cash, like the ever-popular AQR funds, the growth rate for liquid alt funds would be “decidedly negative,” with combined net withdrawals of $6.8 billion in 2016 alone. These funds saw their heyday a few years ago when most thought the bull market in equities was ready to turn and wanted some diversification, but the market continued its ascent. The firm found that of the funds that existed at some point during the years 2013 to 2018, 39 percent were liquidated or managed away. Of the 130 “multialternative” funds that existed over that time frame, 33 percent are now obsolete. “While alternative strategies may indeed help stabilize portfolios in the next bear market, whenever it happens, investor interest in these potentially diversifying strategies has cooled off,” writes Morningstar analyst Jason Kephart.

New FinTech Competition Focuses on Advisor Solutions

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TD Ameritrade said Monday it has begun accepting applicants for an inaugural technology competition that will award money to companies focused on solutions for registered investment advisors. The Innovation Quest competition will award three finalists $25,000 each and the opportunity to present their ideas at the TD Ameritrade Institutional’s National LINC Conference in February of next year. The winner will be awarded an additional $25,000, and TD Ameritrade Institutional will consider offering additional support or investment in the idea. The competition is open to advisors, fintech professionals, technology vendors, students and “anyone else with a great idea.”

YCharts Adds New Feature

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YCharts launched its custom Email Reports feature on the heels of its popular Weekly Pulse, the company announced. The reports, which land in advisors’ inboxes and can be forwarded to clients, according to a company representative, are fully customizable. Advisors must have a YCharts professional subscription to create and access the reports. The reports provide dynamic links to stocks and funds, bringing users back to YCharts. There are nine modules, which can be curated to include a list review of key holdings, charts, and economic and stock events.

 

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