The Factor-Based Investing Channel

The key to using active funds: Setting client expectations

Prepare clients for active fund volatility.

Are Factors Linked To Business Cycles?

There isn’t convincing evidence that a style-timing strategy, based on business cycles, can be expected to be profitable going forward.

CFP Board Proposed Fiduciary Standards: A Good Small Step That Needs a Giant Leap

The CFP Board proposal on fiduciary duties are a good first step towards a fiduciary standard. Yet, they fall well short of basic fiduciary practices and, equally as important, what ordinary investors clearly want from an investment advisor or financial planner. Significant common sense revisions will align the CFP requirements with true fiduciary practices. Alternatively, the Board can realign its promise to the public to fit its current standards. Webinar attendees will learn:

  • Key areas where the proposed standards fall well short of fiduciary duties;
  • What independent research and experience say investors want in a fiduciary advisor;
  • Important revisions or fixes that CFP Board can make now to meet a fiduciary standard; and
  • How the CFP Board can realign its promise to meet current standards.

Asset Allocation Views: Singles and Doubles

With market volatility on the rise, consider a broad set of relative value opportunities across global markets.

The End Is Near for the US Credit Cycle. Are You Prepared?

The US corporate credit cycle is nearing its end, and the cycle in parts of Europe isn’t far behind. This can create treacherous conditions for unprepared investors. The first line of defense, in our view, is knowing what to expect.

Gary Cohn Resigns: The Other Shoe Has Dropped

Yesterday, I wrote that the markets were likely to continue to trend upward, on the idea that the U.S. tariffs were not really going to happen. But then the news that Gary Cohn had resigned as head of the National Economic Council was announced—and this has changed that perception entirely.

Why Volatility May Be a Bigger Threat Than Rates

Russ discusses why investors should worry less about higher interest rates and more about the volatility resulting from tighter financial conditions.

When Value Goes Global

When the value trade goes global, investors are poised to benefit. Evidence from the international equity, bond, currency, and commodity markets indicates that the value premium is a global phenomenon that can offer important portfolio diversification. However, the devil is in the details: we argue that the successful implementation of global value strategies critically depends on an economically motivated design.

Your Secret Weapon against Fee Compression

Before every talk, I ask participants to send me their most pressing concerns. At, or near, the top of every list is “justifying fees.” That concern will grow as technology invades every aspect of the advisory industry. But you have a secret weapon that few advisors will use effectively to respond to this challenge.

Three Ways Female Financial Advisors Can Help Other Women

At the core of it, every advisor is an entrepreneur. I love seeing successful female advisors because they have the potential to change the world. Here are the three most important ones that I’m celebrating on International Women’s Day.

First Look at February: ADP Says 235K New Nonfarm Private Jobs

Today we have the ADP January estimate of 235K new nonfarm private employment jobs, a decrease over January's revised 242K.


“Smoot-Hawley Tariff was an act implementing protectionist trade policies sponsored by Senator Reed Smoot and Representative Willis C. Hawley and was signed into law on June 17, 1930. The act raised U.S. tariffs on over 20,000 imported goods.”. . . Wikipedia

Are US Stocks Disconnected from Earnings?

There’s a curious anomaly in the US stock market. Shares of highly profitable companies have risen more slowly than their earnings growth has in recent years. This is an important signpost for investors in today’s complex market conditions.

4 Big Reasons Why Short-Term Muni Bonds Should Excite You

Municipal bonds might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a sexy investment. They don’t typically command news headlines like the stock market or bitcoin. That doesn’t mean investors should disregard short-term munis. In fact, munis play a very important role in any serious portfolio. Below are four big reasons why you should get excited about muni bonds.

Why US Tax Reform Could Drive Dividends Higher

In the first few months of 2018, some US companies and multinationals have raised their dividends by 10% or more—a higher percentage increase than we’ve seen in a few years.