A lot of advisors have launched their own investment strategies over the years. But does it really matter what you name the investment advisory firm, or are style and performance the only relevant information clients need? The CFA Institute’s Will Ortel suggests that there is a missed opportunity to create a branding strategy around an investment advisor, and a good name can, in fact, contribute to that firm's success. "Picking a name for your firm that is both pronounceable and memorable would seem to play some role in the overall success of your effort. After all, you are unlikely to be the only game in town," writes Ortel in Enterprising Investor, a CFA Institute blog. He points to a popular hedge fund name generator, which employs the theory that many fund manager names follow a common pattern of "color plus element" (like “BlackRock” or “OakTree Capital”). When we tried it, we came up with the name “Spring Rock Partners." Not bad. Another strategy is to use your initials. (Think D.E. Shaw or HBK Capital Management.) Whatever you choose, it won't trump performance in a client's evaluation, but all else being equal, a solid name carries some weight.
Any of your clients looking to move overseas in retirement should check out Algarve, Portugal, according to the latest Overseas Retirement Index by Live and Invest Overseas. The index ranks 30 locations on more than a dozen factors, including cost of living, health care, residency options, English spoken, expat community, taxes, real estate affordability and restrictions, crime, climate, and more. Algarve was the only location that received an "A+" rating based on its climate—more than 3,000 hours of sun and temperatures ranging from the 90s Farenheit in the summer to low 40s in the winter—the fact that many locals speak English. Flights to and from Portugal are offered from the U.S. daily, and violent crime rates are low, the index reports. The cities receiving an A grade in the index were: Valletta, Malta; Mazatlan, Mexico; Abruzzo, Italy; Saint-Chinian, France; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Lisbon, Portugal; Budapest, Hungary; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; George Town, Malaysia; San Ignacio, Belize; and Citta Sant'Angelo, Italy.
The Securities and Exchange Commission says firms are better prepared for cybersecurity threats than they were in 2014, but compliance and oversight still need to be improved. In an examination of 75 firms, the SEC said a majority were not adhering closely enough to their stated policies, and weren’t staying current on security patches or correcting vulnerabilities after they were detected. The alert also said less than two-thirds of advisors have implemented the response plan they are supposed to have in place for addressing data breaches and informing clients. The good news is that “all broker/dealers, all funds and nearly all advisors examined maintained cybersecurity-related written policies and procedures addressing the protection of customer/shareholder records and information,” which the SEC said is in stark contrast to just a few years ago.