• 8/16/2018

The current bull market may go down in history as the longest. Since March 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has already risen 286%, the S&P 500 advanced 320% and the Nasdaq has soared 521%. Huge contributors of the bull run are the FAANG stocks (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google)…time will tell how much fuel is left in the tank for this bull run.

By Anita Lo

  • 8/15/2018

We are excited to announce that the submission window is now open to be included in this year’s Trends & Best Practices in Investor Statements report and ranking! Statements and client reporting submissions will be accepted through September 30th. The report will be published in January 2019. Please reach out to bhalloran@dalbar.com with any questions.

By Brooke Halloran

  • 8/13/2018

The SEC's proposed Regulation Best Interest seeks to impose a duty on brokers to mitigate certain conflicts of interest. This series of articles will explore the various ways firms can effectively mitigate or eliminate conflicts of interest.

By Cory Clark

  • 8/13/2018

Check out our new e-Delivery Insights & Resources page to stay in the know when it comes to electronic delivery. Don’t forget to sign up for the complimentary quarterly e-Delivery newsletter!

By Brooke Halloran

  • 8/8/2018

Register for a complimentary webinar on Tuesday 8/14 from 2-2:30 pm ET in which we will share highlights from the 20th Annual Trends & Best Practices in Investor Statements report and let you know how to make sure you are included in our upcoming 21st annual report.

By Brooke Halloran

  • 8/7/2018

The trend of favorable judgements continues, 7 cases reported here in the last month! Wells Fargo wins a second judgement in the case that charged a fiduciary breach connected to use of proprietary target date funds in its 401(k) plan.

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 8/7/2018

Print & Paper industries go after SEC for e-Delivery as a default. The Coalition for Paper Options have joined Consumer Action, the American Forest & Paper Association, the Printing Industries Alliance and Twin Rivers Paper Company in filing a federal petition to stop Rule 30e-3, adopted June 4 by the SEC to switch the default distribution method for annual and semi-annual mutual fund performance reports from mail to e-Delivery.

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 8/6/2018

Great American Life recently unveiled a newly redesigned RIA website highlighting features such as educational articles, advice for the independent advisor and white papers. Multiple portfolio simulator tools were also introduced including one that generates a side-by-side comparison of a given portfolio with and without a fee-based product.

By Brooke Halloran

  • 8/6/2018

Cracks are clearly emerging across the global housing markets. Stringent lending rules, tax changes, and affordability concerns are all contributing to the downward pressure on global property prices. From Sidney to Toronto, Beijing to New York, homeowners and property investors are hitting the pause button. Proof is in the data.

By Anita Lo

  • 8/3/2018

This month’s WebMonitor Newsletter highlights a refresh to the John Hancock Investments website. The site has been enhanced with design and navigation improvements focused on readability, user customization and directing users’ attention towards John Hancock’s investment products.

By Brooke Halloran

  • 8/2/2018

Continuing the recent pattern, the case against NYU’s 403(b) plan was thrown out. It was dismissed, finding that while “no fiduciary may passively rely on information provided by a co-fiduciary”, “…consolidation may lead to lower recordkeeping fees. However, record keepers may offer a variety of collateral services to participants which also have value. Thus, any examination of fees needs to account for total value — that is, both recordkeeping and collateral services.”

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 8/2/2018

Investors waiting for a bitcoin ETF will have to keep waiting. SEC rejected Bats BZX Exchange, Inc.'s petition for review to list and trade shares of a bitcoin ETF. Commission stated that bitcoin-related markets are in early stages and can't adequately address the risk of fraud and manipulation. This may change as bitcoin-related markets develop in the future.

By Cory Clark

  • 8/1/2018

Pacific Life launches a new redesigned consumer website available across all digital and mobile platforms that focuses on guiding and educating in order to help achieve one's "life goals".

By Jamie Josephs

  • 7/26/2018

Yet again Customer Experience (CX) was rated as the most exciting business opportunity for companies in the coming year – Here is a list of 7 ways to create an effective CX strategy. The one critical element missing from this list – Measurement.

By Brendan Yeager

  • 7/25/2018

Five tips from Dale Jackson, BNN Bloomberg to ensure your portfolio doesn’t take a vacation while you’re having fun this summer:

By Anita Lo

  • 7/25/2018

Gartenberg Rule prevails again! Blackrock wins a favorable summary judgement in an excessive fee case based on the Gartenberg Rule. This is the latest of losses for plaintiffs in excessive fee cases. These include cases against Edison (Hewitt), Checksmart (Cetera), AT&T (Fidelity) and Wells Fargo. Could this be a trend?

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 7/24/2018

Announcing the redesign of the new Registered Fiduciary (RFTM) Certification website where financial professionals are explicitly identified for their commitment to act in a fiduciary capacity.

By Jamie Josephs

  • 7/23/2018

Recognizing that the customer experience (CX) is critical to long-term success in today’s economy; more and more companies are expanding their C-Suite to include a Chief Experience Office (CXO). Here are some of the top attributes necessary for succeeding in that role.

By Brendan Yeager

  • 7/13/2018

Here is how advisors can take advantage of the chaos left by the demise of the DoL Rule. Smart advisors will use the promised standard of care to attract new clients and provide the level of service the DoL Rule required.

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 7/13/2018

A small 401(k) plan wins in court. Checksmart/Cetera, the first small plan and advisor arrangement to face excessive fee 401(k) litigation wins dismissal after two years. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio found that the ERISA three year limitation on bringing such actions had expired when the claim was made. This case will undoubtedly discourage thousands of potential cases against small plans that have had excessive fees in the past.

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 7/12/2018

According to McKinsey & Company, “Leading companies understand that they are in the customer-experience business, and they understand that how an organization delivers for customers is beginning to be as important as what it delivers.”

By Brendan Yeager

  • 7/11/2018

Check out our new blog post! "The Case for Plan Sponsors to Support Participant's Financial Health"

By Shelley Eramo

  • 7/3/2018

Forrester predicts that 30% of companies will see Customer Experience declines in 2018, leading to a loss of growth. No need to worry, DALBAR is here to help you keep your CX on point.

By Brendan Yeager

  • 7/3/2018

America's wealthy are moving to cash as market enthusiasm hits a wall. Is this the best indication of a rising equity market for second half of 2018? History indicates that investors guess wrong most often in volatile markets! The Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior (QAIB) found that investors act on their concerns before strong equity markets.

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 7/2/2018

Hackers are moving past data to real money. The concern that protecting data is insufficient and authentication must protect the underlying funds is now a proven reality. While focus on data remains an important consideration, it is the access to funds that needs better protection.

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 7/2/2018

Court rejects $1 million payment to Schlichter Bogard & Denton after they won the excessive fee suit against Edison for 401(k) plan. This blow may take the wind out of the sails of the law firm that is behind so many ERISA excessive fee cases.

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 6/27/2018

DALBAR's Recognition for Excellence program allows professionals the opportunity to differentiate themselves from industry peers

By Jamie Josephs

  • 6/25/2018

As part of a rebranding effort, Securian launched a clean, contemporary redesigned website that places a greater focus on customers. A bright color scheme with warm family photos as well as a new logo representing “the family circle” is presented. A video is offered explaining the new visual direction for Securian.

By Brooke Halloran

  • 6/25/2018

The Supreme Court has ruled that the use of Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) that preside over SEC cases is unconstitutional. The Court found that the ALJs do not undergo the appointment and confirmation process that the constitution requires. Presumably then, gathering evidence, issuing subpoenas, examining witnesses, and imposing sanctions they have ordered are nullified. ALJs are the principal enforcement tool of the SEC so this is a crippling blow to the agency’s enforcement.

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 6/22/2018

Symetra’s updated corporate site has improved navigation and a super inviting look and feel. Mega menus and large menu blocks offer seamless navigation and immediate orientation to the site’s offerings. Though both old and new sites appropriately placed emphasis on life-stage events, the combination of a natural yet bold color scheme, friendly graphics and impactful placement provide a clear positioning of Symetra’s offering as well as a very pleasing user experience.

By Brooke Halloran

  • 6/22/2018

E*TRADE has expanded its mobile tool suite to include real-time market scanning to mobile devices with their LiveAction Mobile Scanner. On-the-go advanced market scanning tools are now available to traders including: 24 unusual activity scanners and 43 volatility scanners to live-stream the market. The ability to save favorite scanners is also available. (An excerpt from the WebMonitor Site Watch newsletter).

By Brooke Halloran

  • 6/21/2018

Could we actually begin educating kids for jobs? The contemplated merger of Education and Labor Departments would mean upheaval but it could also mean that 401(k) education could be taught in schools… I wish!

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 6/21/2018

The race to the bottom continues, will quality follow?  Declining mutual fund costs in 401(k) plans will lower benchmarks, putting plan sponsors at risk. Rather than chasing a shrinking benchmark, plan sponsors should place an economic value on plan services to draw their own line in the sand. 

By Cory Clark

  • 6/20/2018

Despite solid investment returns in the past couple of years, only 55% of High Net Worth individuals connect strongly with their wealth manager according to the 2018 World Wealth Report, a leading benchmark that tracks the wealth of High Net Worth individuals and the global and economic conditions that drive change in the Wealth Management industry.

By Anita Lo

  • 6/19/2018

Nationwide touts their multiple DALBAR Plan Participant Service Award wins in a new video highlighting many of the great things they are doing with their Retirement business.

By Brendan Yeager

  • 6/19/2018

New! Mobile InSIGHT Report: Innovations in the World of Mobile Optimized Web Sites. Ask us about our mobile seal award!

By Jamie Josephs

  • 6/18/2018

Microsoft study supports DALBAR findings: most US consumers consider service quality to be “very important”, service expectations continue to rise, and a majority of customers switched brands due to a poor service experience.

By Brendan Yeager

  • 6/18/2018

L.A. Times rates investor behavior and discipline as the #1 factor to help or hurt a portfolio’s return. Cites DALBAR’s Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior (“QAIB”) study.

By Cory Clark

  • 6/15/2018

AARP testifies at the SEC’s Investment Advisory Committee, calling for improvements to the proposed Customer Relationship Summary Form.

By Cory Clark

  • 6/14/2018

Asking for client referrals can be difficult, and in some cases puts the client in a tough spot. Understanding what's allowed under the SEC testimonial rule allows advisors to let their clients' collective voice be heard.

By Cory Clark

  • 6/14/2018

38 States now permit e-delivery of insurance documents. Expect all states to be on board within a year.

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 6/12/2018

Fidelity’s Founders Class, an opportunity to invest in visionaries has raised $65M in the Canadian marketplace in less than 2 short months. The formula is simple…invest in leaders who are innovative, client obsessed, and have skin in the game.

By Anita Lo

  • 6/11/2018

TIAA Tops Password Security - DALBAR WebMonitor Highlights Best Plan Participant Password Practices

By Susan Oberton

  • 6/7/2018

New Blog Post! Five Tips for Improving Financial Service Firms' Website Performance

By Shelley-Ann Eramo

  • 6/7/2018

Financial professionals use investor behavior study to underscore the virtue of patience and avoid investors' temptation to time the market.

By Cory Clark

  • 6/7/2018

First impressions count! DALBAR took a look at the State of the Industry with respect to Online Enrollment processes for Defined Contribution plans.

By Susan Oberton

  • 6/6/2018

SEC normalizes e-Delivery with two year window to comply. e-Delivery will become the default for regulatory documents in January 2021. Investors must be notified beforehand in prospectuses, annual and semiannual reports.

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 6/6/2018

Check out the latest e-Delivery benchmarks for an update of today’s best practices.

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 6/6/2018

What is a 408(g) Advisor?

By Susan Oberton

  • 6/5/2018

DALBAR identifies the biggest e-delivery concerns that the Financial Services industry faces

By Susan Oberton

  • 6/4/2018

New study underscores another value of service quality: Competitive advantage. “The top reason that clients fire their financial advisors is failure to return phone calls in a timely manner.”

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 6/4/2018

Five Firms Earn High Honors in Dalbar’s Analysis of Performance Reports – Congrats to #1 @MerrillLynch!

By Susan Oberton

  • 6/4/2018

One financial professional indicted ($11M), and one arrested ($8M) in New York in the last week. Both targeted elders.

The rise in financial exploitation of elders underscores the need for Registered Fiduciaries (RF™), who are thoroughly vetted professionals.

By Cory Clark

  • 5/30/2018

Simplii Financial, a direct banking brand within the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), and Bank of Montreal (BMO) both announced on Monday possible security breaches. Fraudsters contacted both firms claiming that they were in possession of certain personal and financial information from the firms' client base.

A recent report by DALBAR on Authentication practices discusses key methods used to prevent disintermediation of financial assets by theft or disruption by cyber-villains who have already acquired the data necessary to threaten disintermediation.

By Anita Lo

  • 5/29/2018

InvestEdge, the leading provider of innovative financial advisory solutions, today announced it has been awarded the prestigious DALBAR Communications Seal of Excellence for Performance Reporting.

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 5/29/2018

TIAA and Northwestern University vindicated in excessive fee lawsuit. Second such suit that failed in court.

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 5/24/2018

University of Chicago to pay $6.5 million + freeze fees to settle retirement plan lawsuit. Unreasonable fees led to costly settlement. Too bad thet did not have a Certification of Reasonableness!

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 5/23/2018

Yahoo references DALBAR's QAIB in report of “5 things I Wish I Knew in My 20s”… (1) Time is your most valuable asset, (2) Investing in penny stocks doesn't usually work out well, (3) Buy-and-hold is the way to go, (4) Don't have a herd mentality, (5) The "automatic" 401(k) contribution rate is by no means enough.

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 5/22/2018

The necessary cyber security depends on the cyber services provided… new worksheet shows if your security is adequate.

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 5/22/2018

Study shows maximum reasonable cost at $1,764,000 (176 bps) for $100 million plan with high contribution levels, well balanced investments, great service.

By Louis S. Harvey

  • 4/1/2018

QAIB 2018 is now available

By Susan Oberton

  • 3/3/2018

New MobileInSIGHT report is now available

By Jamie Josephs

  • 2/27/2018

How Scottrade Could Have Avoided DoL Rule Charges

By Louis S. Harvey