Archive for October, 2015

Calamos Asset Management, Inc Declares Quarterly Dividend of $0.15 (clms)

Calamos Asset Management (NASDAQ:clms) declared a quarterly dividend on Tuesday, October 27th, AnalystRatings.Net reports. Investors of record on Monday, November 9th will be paid a dividend of 0.15 per share by the closed-end fund on Monday, November 23rd. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 6.38%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 5th.

In related news, CEO John P. Sr Calamos, Sr. acquired 16,538 shares of Calamos Asset Management stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 12th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $11.70 per share, with a total value of $193,494.60. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO John P. Sr Calamos, Sr. acquired 18,756 shares of Calamos Asset Management stock in a transaction on Monday, August 17th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $11.93 per share, with a total value of $223,759.08. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here.

CLMS has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Credit Suisse dropped their price target on Calamos Asset Management to $10.00 in a research note on Thursday, October 8th. TheStreet cut Calamos Asset Management from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 25th. Zacks upgraded Calamos Asset Management from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 29th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette Woods cut their price objective on Calamos Asset Management from $12.00 to $10.00 and set an “underperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, September 3rd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and two have assigned a hold rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Sell” and an average price target of $10.33.

Shares of Calamos Asset Management (NASDAQ:CLMS) traded down 1.26% during trading on Friday, reaching $9.39. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 52,118 shares. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $9.62 and a 200-day moving average of $11.32. The company has a market capitalization of $192.78 million and a PE ratio of 24.45. Calamos Asset Management has a 1-year low of $9.00 and a 1-year high of $14.44.

Calamos Asset Management (NASDAQ:CLMS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 27th. The closed-end fund reported $0.18 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.12 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $57.60 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $58.56 million. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 9.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.23 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Calamos Asset Management will post $0.32 earnings per share for the current year.

Calamos Asset Management, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLMS) is a holding company. The Business is the manager of Calamos Investments LLC, which manages and owns its managing businesses. The Company mainly provides individuals and institutional investors with investment advisory services through investment products offering closed-end funds and open-end funds (Funds), exchange traded fund, separate accounts, offshore funds and ventures. The subsidiary companies through which the Firm provides these services contain Calamos Advisors LLC (CAL), a registered investment advisor; Calamos Financial Services LLC (CFS), a registered broker-dealer; Calamos Wealth Management LLC, a registered investment advisor, and Calamos Investments LLP, previously called Calamos International LLP, a United Kingdom limited liability partnership, registered investment advisor using the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom, as well as a global provider of the offshore funds and business products.document.write(‘‘);


Saturday, October 31st, 2015 EN No Comments

Labuan IBFC to continue focusing on wealth control solutions

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Labuan: Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC) aims to continue focusing on facilitating business transactions and wealth management solutions, as well as Islamic finance, Labuan Financial Services Authority Director-General Ahmad Hizzad Baharuddin said.

“We will focus on offering legal structures like private trusts and foundations that will preserve wealth and ensure business continuity for generations to come.

“For Islamic finance, Labuan IBFC has tailor-made ‘Waqf’, an Islamic instrument which is almost similar to a trust and foundation,” he told a press conference after attending the Labuan IBFC’s 25th Anniversary Conference, here Friday.

The conference was held as part of Labuan IBFC’s 25th anniversary as a financial centre that connects the economies of Asia.

Ahmad Hizzad cited a highly-skilled talent pool as the critical success factor for Labuan IBFC to achieve its vision of becoming an eminent financial centre.

“We have put the necessary infrastructures, legal foundations and business facilitations. Our aim now is ensuring the supply of a highly-skilled talent pool to drive the financial centre,” he said.

Ahmad Hizzad said the unique business propositions offered by Labuan IBFC continued to attract multinational corporations from across the globe to its shores.

Sharing the latest statistics, he said as at September 2015, Labuan IBFC is now home to 12,281 companies.

On the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, Ahmad Hizzad said being a centre linking businesses in the region, Labuan IBFC stands to benefit from the trade pact.

Meanwhile, Labuan IBFC Incorporated Sdn Bhd Chief Executive Officer Danial Mah Abdullah said over the years, Labuan IBFC had aggressively promoted awareness and raise competency among wealth management providers, advisors and other intermediaries, especially in Malaysia and the region in order to build a larger range of intermediaries who were familiar with Labuan offerings.

He said the Labuan IBFC’s silver jubilee celebrations began with the Labuan IBFC’s Asean Roadshow 2015 in Kuala Lumpur in May before it was brought to Manila, Jakarta, Bangkok and Singapore, with the final leg held in Hong Kong last month.

They had attracted more than 300 delegates as well as 26 speakers and panelists ranging from regulators to industry practitioners, he said, adding that the Asean Roadshow would continue next year.

The Labuan IBFC’s 25th Anniversary Conference featured a talk on how key developments in Asia would shape the global economy by Norman Loayza, Lead Economist of Development Research Group, World Bank, while John Harris, Jersey Financial Services Commission Director-General John Harris espoused on the evolution of international financial centres. – Bernama


Saturday, October 31st, 2015 EN No Comments

Wealth management experts reveal the causes of investment horror

As Halloween approaches, wealth management experts are highlighting the top behavioural biases that can cause investment nightmares.

Drawing on decades of experience – and having seen many DIY disasters come across their desks – they talk about fear, greed, over-risking, believing the hype, anchoring and over-exposure as the most common spectres that haunt DIY portfolio performance.


Fear prevents investors from making constructive investment decisions when they should. Typically, when a market has reached extremes, fear and greed are the forces stopping a person from investing at the bottom of a market cycle or taking profit at the top – which is the obvious way to make money.

Fear of admitting you were wrong can also cause losses to be more extreme than they need to be. Investors can often ‘ride a stock down’ when it is plummeting rather than recognise their mistake, get out fast and limit their losses.

Lee Goggin is co-founder of


A common issue we see with client portfolios is ‘over-risk’. This is where clients are positioned inappropriately for their risk profile. We see 100 per cent equity holdings for DIY clients who think their portfolio is medium or low risk.

Equities are undeniably higher risk. We also often see leveraged portfolios too – great when markets go up, very bad when markets go down.

According to our client research, 85 per cent of private investors mis-categorise their risk objective to take on far too much risk for their profile (as found by a 2014 client survey).

Dominic Gamble is co-founder of


Most nightmarish investments I have seen have stemmed from supposedly ‘hot’ sectors that subsequently failed to live up to the hype.

Many investors will have the skeleton of a technology or internet fund from the late 90s in their closet; and although initially highly successful, a rash of ‘me-too’ fund launches and sky-high valuations should been enough to scare people away.

Sadly, many ordinary investors were too late to the dotcom party; the area peaked at the turn of the millennium and some saw their capital decimated.

The lesson: a sector that proclaims to be ‘the next big thing’ is probably as big a red flag as you can get that your investment will come back to haunt you.

The internet mania (eventually) brought a few success stories such as Amazon and eBay, but most companies failed spectacularly or never recovered their share price highs.

Rob Morgan is pensions and investment analyst at Charles Stanley.


People can sometimes tend to think, ‘I don’t need an adviser; I can just day trade’. But the problem is that DIY investors tend to be hugely momentum driven; or they have a big theme and ‘over-egg’ it.

Taking pharmaceuticals as an example, an investor might hold three or four biotech stocks – some start-ups to play a theme – then they might have four or five large-cap pharma names too.

Or you might find that an investor has an over-concentration in internet companies, of which probably only one is going to succeed out of a dozen. They go for all the associated companies simply because in the past one has done well for them.

We do see some very impressive funds come over to us, but unfortunately, you will often find investors all in equities, all in one theme and all in one currency.

John Langrish is head of investments at James Hambro Partners.


Behavioural finance discusses the concept of ‘anchoring’ – attaching thoughts to a specific reference point, which is all too easy if an investor feels that they have identified a theme.

If investors are not careful, this can lead to decisions being made on what may be irrelevant or out-of-date information. A great example of how quickly things move is the raft of measures taken on a seemingly day-to-day basis by the Chinese authorities during the summer.

Both unexpected and swift, interventions like these change the landscape dramatically and can render previous assumptions redundant.

Chris Justham is relationship manager on 7IM’s London and South East-focused discretionary team.


Investors need to bear in mind that during some periods, like the summer, company information on trading is much reduced and headlines instead focus on geo-politics. Sparse data can create false signals and there is limited new fundamental information to merit any change in strategy.

It is also worth bearing in mind that stock market liquidity is extremely low in the summer months. This tends to amplify the move in equities as there are few buyers when investors panic sell.

It is also a time when company information on trading is much reduced, and headlines instead focus on geo-politics. As a result, we believe it is best not to react to headlines when genuine news is so thin.

Duncan Carmichael-Jack is partner at Vestra Wealth.

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Saturday, October 31st, 2015 EN No Comments

UBS Snags Three Advisers Who Managed $580 Million — Street Moves

By Michael Wursthorn

UBS Group AG hired three brokers for its U.S. wealth-management group.

Advisers Jon Hawk, Lechelle Moore and Xi Qiao joined UBS this month from Morgan Stanley, SunTrust Private Wealth
Management and Bank of America Corp.’sMerrill Lynch brokerage, respectively, a UBS spokesman said.

Mr. Hawk had worked at Morgan Stanley since 1991 and built a book of client assets totaling $450 million, which
generated $1 million in annual fees and commissions. He will work out of UBS’s Canonsburg, Penn., branch, focusing on
ultrawealthy clients and administering institutional retirement plans.

Ms. Moore, who moved to UBS with a two-person support team, had worked at SunTrust since 2004. During that time,
she accumulated $130 million in client assets and generated $1.23 million in annual fees and commissions by running a
fee-based business with a focus on institutional and retirement accounts.

Ms. Qiao, meanwhile, has been an adviser for eight years, and worked at Merrill for the last four. She built a $115
million practice that focused on entrepreneurs and their families in the San Francisco Bay area, China and Hong Kong.
She generated $1.1 million in fees and commissions annually.

A Merrill spokeswoman confirmed Ms. Qiao’s departure. A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman didn’t immediately confirm Mr.
Hawk’s exit, while a SunTrust spokesperson didn’t respond to a message on Friday afternoon.

Write to Michael Wursthorn at

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Friday, October 30th, 2015 EN No Comments

After sell-off, some investors jump back into emerging market bonds

NEW YORK Plunging commodity prices and a slowdown in China have prompted a sell-off of emerging market bonds over the last two years, but some investors have started to dip their toes back into the beleaguered sector.

Capital flows have turned positive amid a wave of currency depreciation over the last several years, and investors such as Eaton Vance and HSBC Asset Management have added exposure to emerging markets.

The decline in oil prices over the summer of 2014 drove a sell-off in currencies of emerging market energy exporters. Overall, emerging market currencies have depreciated against the U.S. dollar by an average of 30 percent following their post-financial crisis peak in 2011, according to estimates from HSBC Asset Management.

This depreciation has created opportunities for patient investors willing to scour for bargains.

“We are at that important juncture where currency weakness has become a positive tailwind for emerging market debt,” said Kathleen Gaffney, co-director of diversified fixed income at Eaton Vance in Boston.

The market is not for the faint of heart, though. Some investors are buying with the understanding that there is a big risk that emerging market assets might drop further.

But undervalued bonds denominated in local currency from Brazil, Turkey and Mexico are enticing to some who see value now. Investors are citing high annual returns of up to 15 percent on some of these securities.

“There’s no free lunch, but at least you’re getting paid for the risk you’re taking,” said Guillermo Ossés, head of global emerging markets debt portfolio management at HSBC Asset Management in New York.

HSBC, which oversees $135 billion in emerging market assets, picked up local-currency debt positions in Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, South Africa, Indonesia and Colombia over the summer, Ossés said.

The currencies of these countries have deteriorated to levels that have helped improve their trade balances.

The Brazilian real, for example, has depreciated by almost 40 percent over the past five years, which has reduced the nation’s current account deficit during most of 2015.

For the 12 months ended on Sept. 30, the deficit was equivalent to 4.18 percent of Brazil’s gross domestic product, down from about 4.4 percent in the year to May.

Gaffney said Eaton Vance, which has assets of nearly $300 billion under management, added Mexico debt and initiated positions in Brazil and Indonesia. Its bond fund, which has more than $1 billion in assets, now holds a 15 percent exposure to emerging market debt, she added.


Investors pumped $13.9 billion into emerging markets in October, the sector’s first monthly inflows since June, according to data from the Institute of International Finance global trade group.

Emerging market bonds attracted $7.7 billion in investments overall.

“In many emerging market countries, we’re starting at such a low level that we don’t need a lot of better news for people to get more optimistic,” said Jim Carlen, a Minneapolis-based senior portfolio manager for the emerging markets fixed-income team at Columbia Threadneedle Investments.

Jim Cielinski, Columbia Threadneedle’s global head of fixed income, said the firm, which oversees $471 billion in assets, favored countries moving down the reform path, such as Mexico and India, and those with significant impetus to curb excessive government spending, such as Indonesia.

Emerging market local-currency bonds also had inflows in October, according to Morgan Stanley’s Emerging Market Exposure Index, which showed global funds were overweight on this specific sector.

The same data showed portfolio flows into local currency bonds grew in Latin America this month but decreased in some Asian countries, such as China, Malaysia and the Philippines.

“Differentiation among emerging markets will continue to be the theme,” said HSBC’s Ossés, “as tighter global liquidity conditions and declining commodity prices spell a less-supportive environment and expose differences between weaker and stronger countries.”

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Tariro Mzezewa; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)


Friday, October 30th, 2015 EN No Comments

Key highlights of JACKSON WEALTH MANAGEMENT Q3 2015 13F Stocks

Jackson Wealth Management Llc Stocks Analysis

Jackson Wealth Management Llc just filed its Q3 2015 13F. Dated 30/10/2015, the SEC filing shows the active investment manager has a portfolio value of $279.04 million, representing a decrease of $16.49 million from the previous quarter when it was $295.52 million. Note: This filling reprents about 87.65% of Jackson Wealth Management Llc’s assets, which which are listed in the US.

Based on $318.34 million in assets under management, Jackson Wealth Management Llc’s equity exposure is 87.65% of assets.

Fund New Holdings

In this quarter, Jackson Wealth Management Llc opened positions in Ishares Tr (SHY) for $5.25 million, Ishares Tr (IEI) for $4.55 million, Ishares Tr (IEF) for $3.71 million, Vanguard World Fd (MGK) for $3.67 million and Powershares Etf Trust (PJP) for $3.00 million. These were the 5 biggest new positions. In total the active investment manager bought 37 new stocks.

Portfolio New Buys

Increased Positions

Based on this SEC filing the active investment manager raised its stakes in Ishares Tr (CSJ) by 16% to $7.31 million, Ishares Tr (IJR) by 6% to $4.22 million, Ishares Tr (IWV) by 7% to $4.09 million, Ishares Tr (AGG) by 28% to $4.67 million and Ishares Tr (IWF) by 96% to $6.29 million. Jackson Wealth Management Llc also acquired smaller stakes in Vanguard Intl Equity Index F (VGK) by 5.93% to $3.15 million, Kkr Co L P Del (KKR) by 59.77% to $3.50 million and Energy Transfer Prtnrs L P (ETP) by 86.68% to $1.78 million. Building positions gradually is common strategy for many investors.

Sold Holdings

This fund sold its stakes in Ishares (ACWI), Magellan Midstream Prtnrs Lp (MMP), Ishares Tr (EFA), Spdr SP Midcap 400 Etf Tr (MDY) and Kraft Foods Group Inc (KRFT). These securities constituted 2.45 %, 1.85 %, 1.31 %, 1.19 % and 1.14 % of the manager’s portfolio, respectively. We can only speculate about the reasons for the selling but we believe it has to do with either value, momentum or a better place for Jackson Wealth Management Llc’s capital.

Portfolio Sold All

Reduced Positions

The fund also cut its postitons in Vanguard Index Fds (VTI) by -3.18%, Powershares Qqq Trust (QQQ) by -42.60%, Vanguard Tax Managed Intl Fd (VEA) by -6.46%, Vanguard Index Fds (VUG) by -6.20% and Vanguard Bd Index Fd Inc (BIV) by -6.78%.

Top 3 Holdings

Vanguard Scottsdale Fds (VCSH), Ishares Tr (IVV) and Vanguard Index Fds (VTI) made up the majority of Jackson Wealth Management Llc’s total US long portfolio in Q3 2015. These positions were top 3 and constitute 30.09% of Jackson Wealth Management Llc’s US-listed securities. The top 10 positions make approximately 45.7% of the reported fund’s portfolio.

Portfolio Top Holdings

It seems Jackson Wealth Management Llc holds concentrated portfolio. We wonder do they believe, same as many legendary traders, that diversification is losing investment approach? The table above provides an overview of Jackson Wealth Management Llc’s top 10 US-listed equities in Q3 2015.

Sector Allocation And Analysis

Information Technology Sector Jackson Wealth Management Llc - Jackson Wealth Management Llc raised the information technology sector from 5 % to 6 %. According to the SEC filing, the fund also has securities for 6 % in the health care sector. The consumer discretionary sector is 5 % of Jackson Wealth Management Llc’s 13F reported securities. The fund cut the Consumer Staples, Energy and Finance sector positions by 3 %, 5 % and 75 %, respectively.

So these are Q3 2015 fund’s sector weights now: finance 70 % for $195.32 million, information technology 6 % for $16.74 million, health care 6 % for $16.74 million, consumer discretionary 5 % for $13.95 million, utilities telecommunications 3 % for $8.37 million, consumer staples 3 % for $8.37 million, energy 2 % for $5.58 million and industrials 1 % for $2.79 million.

Important Position Changes

Top 10 Q3 2015 New Positions: Ishares Tr (SHY), Ishares Tr (IEI), Ishares Tr (IEF), Vanguard World Fd (MGK), Powershares Etf Trust (PJP), Ishares Tr (IWO), Kraft Heinz Co, First Tr Exchange Traded Fd (FDN), Group 1 Automotive Inc (GPI) and Leggett Platt Inc (LEG).

Top 10 Q3 2015 Sold Out Completely: Ishares (ACWI), Magellan Midstream Prtnrs Lp (MMP), Ishares Tr (EFA), Spdr SP Midcap 400 Etf Tr (MDY), Kraft Foods Group Inc (KRFT), Vanguard Index Fds (VO), Powershares Etf Trust (PKW), Vanguard Index Fds (VOE), Wisdomtree Tr (HEDJ) and Cerner Corp (CERN).

Download the full 13F form in CSV: Q3-2015-Jackson-Wealth-Management-Llc-13F-Portfolio-Stock-Holdings.csv

Research more Florida hedge funds in our free database. Read ‘What is a Hedge Fund’ at our Hedge Funds resource page.

Jackson Wealth Management Llc – website

13F Filing Link: 000153679915000004

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Friday, October 30th, 2015 EN No Comments

Boston Private Financial Hldg Price Target Lowered to $12.00 at Keefe …

Boston Private Financial Hldg (NASDAQ:BPFH) had its price objective trimmed by Keefe, Bruyette Woods from $12.50 to $12.00 in a research note published on Friday, reports.

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Jefferies Group lifted their price objective on Boston Private Financial Hldg from $14.00 to $15.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 2nd. Zacks lowered Boston Private Financial Hldg from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, July 17th. BMO Capital Markets cut their price target on Boston Private Financial Hldg from $14.00 to $13.00 and set a market perform rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, August 26th. RBC Capital cut their target price on Boston Private Financial Hldg from $13.00 to $12.00 and set a sector perform rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 23rd. Finally, Sandler O’Neill dropped their price objective on Boston Private Financial Hldg from $13.50 to $12.50 in a research note on Friday, October 2nd. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $13.94.

Boston Private Financial Hldg (NASDAQ:BPFH) traded down 0.26% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $11.72. The company had a trading volume of 908,645 shares. Boston Private Financial Hldg has a 12-month low of $10.55 and a 12-month high of $13.82. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $11.72 and a 200 day moving average price of $12.46. The company has a market capitalization of $980.32 million and a PE ratio of 16.39.

Boston Private Financial Hldg (NASDAQ:BPFH) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 21st. The company reported $0.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.04. The company earned $85.90 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $47.46 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.22 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Boston Private Financial Hldg will post $0.76 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 20th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 6th will be issued a dividend of $0.09 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 4th. This represents a $0.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.07%.

In related news, CEO Clayton Deutsch sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $11.80, for a total value of $354,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 807,046 shares in the company, valued at $9,523,142.80. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink.

Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. is the bank holding company of Boston Private Bank Trust Company. It’s a wealth management company which supplies a variety of wealth management services to high net worth individuals, families, companies, and select associations. The Organization conducts its business through its four segments: Investment Management, Wealth Management and Trust, Private Banking and Wealth Advisory. The Private Banking segment is engaged in providing private banking services to nonprofit organizations, private partnerships, and high net-worth individuals, privately owned companies. The Wealth Management and Trust segment provides wealth management solutions for families and high net worth individuals. The Investment Managers specialize in equity portfolios with products around the capitalization spectrum. The Wealth Advisory section supplies planning-based financial strategies to high net-worth individuals as well as their families and non-profit associations.

Stock Target Prices

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Friday, October 30th, 2015 EN No Comments

International Housing Bubbling Up?


Housing markets in most cities are overvalued, according to UBS Wealth Management’s Global Real Estate Bubble Index that launched Thursday. The firm, which looked at 15 cities globally, found that the risk of a residential property bubble is most distinct in London and Hong Kong. In the U.S., San Francisco and Chicago look overvalued, while prices in New York and Boston seem fair by comparison to their own history. Overall, real estate prices are higher than before the 2007-08 financial crisis and have doubled since 1998 in real terms.

Dementia Is The Most Expensive Way To Go

With clients turning their focus to end of life planning and care (we’re way past “death panels” now), a recent study found that dementia, already among aging Americans’ greatest fears, is by far the most expensive way to die. Performed by several schools and funded by the National Institute of Aging, the study reveals that the cost of care for those with dementia in the last five years of life is 81 percent higher than it is for those with other diseases. Among the reasons posited for this discrepancy is the fact that dementia isn’t a quick killer compared to, say, cancer or heart disease, so the sufferers linger. Furthermore, many of the expenses incurred in caring for a dementia patient, like homecare and non-rehabilitative nursing care, aren’t covered by Medicare, which combined with the patient sticking around longer than usual, makes for an expensive combination.

‘Strange Inheritance’ Returning to Fox Business Network

Fox Business Network has announced that it is debuting the second season of its reality-esque TV series, “Strange Inheritance” at 9 p.m. on Nov. 11. The series, hosted by Jamie Colby, tells unusual stories of inheritances, including those of Winston Churchill’s teeth and George Washington’s lost wallet. Episodes from season 1 include that of man who inherited his mother’s collection of more than 5,000 dolls and a daughter who fought for her inheritance of hundreds of breeding alligators and crocodiles at South Florid’s Gatorama. The show is produced by Towers Productions, which also makes The History Channel’s “Gangland,” The Weather Channel’s “Storm Stories” and AE’s “American Justice.”

Self-Interested Robos?

Though many brokerages have moved away from selling their own mutual funds to avoid conflicts of interest, the rise of robo-advisors is, according to one publication at least, reviving the practice. After all, this publication points out, fourteen of the 54 ETFs (or, one in four funds) offered by Charles Schwab through its Intelligent Portfolios robo-advisor are Schwab’s, and Vanguard Group tends to recommend Vanguard funds in its Personal Advisor service. While it’s not clear why this should be a surprise, or even controversial, The Wall Street Journal said investors should always be skeptical of a brokerage selling its own products; the difference here of course is that no one is collecting a commission by selling investors these funds. Instead, investors are buying the funds through the firms’ online brokerage (are they shocked to find Vanguard is not offering a Fidelity fund?) Both companies say they clearly disclose the funds and the fees they earn from their own products, and that the funds, all largely passively managed, are picked for their performance and low cost. 

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Friday, October 30th, 2015 EN No Comments

China Banks Enter Eye of Storm Adding Risky Debt to Wealth Funds

The wealth-management products that banks sell at branches across China are often considered as safe as deposits by customers. There are growing reasons to question that faith.

The ability of Chinese lenders’ $2.4 trillion of WMPs to generate the returns they promise is being undermined as monetary easing has pushed corporate bond yields to a five-year low. Loath to lose market share by advertising weaker performance, managers of the funds have been adding leverage, extending maturities and buying higher-yielding notes that are rarely traded, according to consultancy CNBenefit and HSBC Holdings Plc.

“A large number of WMP funds have entered the bond market and used maturity mismatches and leverage to raise yields,” said Gao Shanwen, chief economist at Essence Securities Co. in Beijing. “If you add the implicit guarantee to that, along with a general lack of transparency and regulation, the bond market really could be the next eye of the storm in financial markets.”

Banks are piling into riskier debt despite warnings of a leverage-fueled bubble from local brokerages, at least five bond defaults this year and the weakest economic growth in a quarter century. This risks a repeat of the trust industry panic that sparked emerging-market turmoil in early 2014 and protests among holders of failed products.

The shift in strategy has allowed lenders to slow the decline in WMP returns. While the one-year AAA corporate bond yield has plunged 98 basis points to 3.02 percent over the past six months, the average expected yields on these products have fallen only 62 basis points to 4.53 percent, according to data from CNBenefit, which provides consulting services to banks and insurers on investment products.

Wealth products have lured funds from Chinese customers with the combination of perceived guarantees and yields that trump the deposit rate, which until last Friday was capped at a maximum 2.625 percent. While some of the cash from WMPs facilitate off-balance-sheet lending though repackaged loans, 44 percent was invested in bonds or money-market instruments at end-2014, according to the China Banking Wealth Management Registration System.

This has made a slide in short-end corporate debt yields and average money-market rates to the lowest since 2010 especially brutal for WMPs. In the first half of this year, managers relied on the world-topping Shanghai stock market for returns. But as equities retreated 35 percent from a June peak, the funds headed back to bonds.

Paying Out

While some WMPs are now bringing in less than what the lenders pay out, banks are reluctant to lower returns for fear of losing clients, according to Li Linxia, a researcher at CNBenefit. Last week’s scrapping of a ceiling on deposit rates will make little difference to the reliance on WMPs because customers are still drawn to the higher yields they offer.

The risk to banks will increase should there be a correction in the bond market, as was predicted by 10 economists surveyed by Bloomberg this month.

Expectations of a drop come as shares head for the first monthly advance since May and a jump in repurchase transactions — where investors use their debt holdings as collateral for funds — fuel speculation that policy makers may step in to rein in excessive leverage. The 10-year government bond yield rose two basis points this week in the first weekly increase since August.

Any sudden declines in bond prices risk margin calls on WMPs that could lead to a selloff, said Zhang Zhiming, head of China research at HSBC in Hong Kong. Private-placement notes, which are less liquid, may drop especially quickly, he added.

“The perception so far is whatever WMP you buy at the bank counter won’t have any default risk, so it’s a competition based on yield,” said Zhang. “If the government tries to unwind the excessive leverage or allows default to happen, you may trigger redemptions. That means you have to sell down.”


Friday, October 30th, 2015 EN No Comments

Northern Trust Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks (NTRS)

Northern Trust (NASDAQ:NTRS) was upgraded by Zacks from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Thursday, MarketBeat reports.

According to Zacks, “Northern Trust’s third-quarter 2015 earnings miss the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Results were impacted by higher expenses. However, strong top line and improvement in credit quality was recorded. Moreover, the company remains committed to enhance shareholders’ value through dividends and share repurchases. Though the thrust of banking regulations might act as deterrents to the company’s fundamentals going forward, strong capital ratios and anticipated increase in asset management and servicing fees based on a significant equity markets improvement and higher volumes are expected to support earnings in the coming quarters.”

Shares of Northern Trust (NASDAQ:NTRS) traded down 0.39% during trading on Thursday, hitting $68.90. 852,192 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm has a market capitalization of $15.93 billion and a PE ratio of 17.31. Northern Trust has a 12 month low of $61.10 and a 12 month high of $79.25. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $68.68 and its 200 day moving average price is $73.40.

Northern Trust (NASDAQ:NTRS) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 21st. The company reported $0.96 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.96. The firm had revenue of $1.16 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.17 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.84 earnings per share. Northern Trust’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Northern Trust will post $3.83 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 1st. Investors of record on Friday, December 4th will be issued a $0.36 dividend. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.09%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, December 2nd.

In other Northern Trust news, CEO Frederick H. Waddell sold 21,305 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.44, for a total value of $1,500,724.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 197,434 shares in the company, valued at $13,907,250.96. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink.

Several other equities analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Citigroup Inc. lifted their price target on shares of Northern Trust from $72.00 to $78.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 2nd. Barclays lifted their target price on shares of Northern Trust from $80.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 13th. Standpoint Research reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $83.00 price target on shares of Northern Trust in a report on Sunday, August 9th. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $71.00 price objective on shares of Northern Trust in a report on Wednesday, October 7th. Finally, Deutsche Bank cut their price target on shares of Northern Trust from $83.00 to $75.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, September 9th. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Northern Trust presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $76.36.

Northern Trust Corporation is a financial holding company. The Company provides asset management, fund administration, asset servicing, fiduciary and banking solutions for people, associations, families and corporations all over the world. The Company’s operating segments include Corporate Institutional Services (NASDAQ:NTRS), Wealth Management and Treasury and Other. The Business has a network of offices in 19 states in the U.S., Washington, D.C. and 20 international places in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. Asset Management, through the Company’s various subsidiaries, supports the CIS and Wealth Management segments by giving relevant services along with other merchandises to customers around the world and a variety of asset management. The Company’s subsidiary is The Northern Trust Company.

To get a free copy of the research report on Northern Trust (NTRS), click here. For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit

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Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 EN No Comments