LPL released new details of its coming Mutual Fund Only (MFO) platform on Thursday. The platform, created ahead of the DOL's retirement-savings rule, is expected to roll out in 2018 and will standardize brokerage mutual fund commissions. Thursday, LPL released the list of fund companies on the platform and other details, including information on the one-time, uniform onboarding commission investors will pay to gain access to the funds.
Investors Remain Bullish, but Positivity Is Waning
While the majority of investors believe markets will continue to expand, overall bullish sentiment continues to decline. According to E*TRADE Financial’s latest “StreetWise” survey, 60 percent of experienced investors remain bullish—a three-percentage-point decrease from the previous quarter and five percentage points lower than the beginning of 2017. Three out of five believe the market will rise 5 percent or more this quarter, but they don’t believe the U.S. economy is healthy enough for additional rate hikes. “The market delivered solid returns in the first half of 2017, but savvy investors know the bull ride can’t last forever,” said Mike Loewengart, the vice president of investment strategy at E*TRADE Financial. “Amid higher valuations, further Fed action anticipated, and significant geopolitical uncertainty, market observers may be viewing the second half of the year with a dose of healthy skepticism. Some will undoubtedly seek defensive plays."
FBI investigates VisionQuest Wealth Management
On Wednesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a series of search warrants and raided VisionQuest Wealth Management, a boutique wealth management firm that caters to a limited number of individuals, families and businesses in Raleigh, North Carolina. FBI spokesperson Shelley Lynch confirmed that the firm has been under ongoing investigation but declined to discuss the nature or duration of said investigation. Search warrants were also executed at the home of VisionQuest CEO Stephen Peters.