FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for financial advisors.
Many have warned that the U.S. isn't prepared for a looming retirement crisis. A new survey from Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) suggests that retirement confidence is actually improving. 18% of those surveyed are "confident of a comfortable retirement," reports Kathy Lynch at FA Mag, up from 13% last year. But the increased confidence was largely true in households with incomes over $75,000, "and was also strongly correlated to respondent’s participation in a retirement plan."
"In fact, workers reporting they or their spouse have money in a defined contribution plan or IRA or have a defined benefit plan from a current or previous employer are more than twice as likely as those without any of these plans to be very confident (24 percent with a plan vs. 9 percent without a plan),” Jack VanDerhei, EBRI research director said. That being said, 35% said they have not saved any money for retirement. Daily costs, existing debt, and low income were cited as key reasons that workers couldn't save enough.
How To Make The Most Of Meetings With Investment Managers (The Wall Street Journal)
It's common for investment managers to pitch financial products to advisors. But often these blind pitch meetings end up being a waste of time for everyone concerned, writes Michael Gauthier, CEO of Arizona-based Strategic Income Group in a new WSJ column. To overcome this hurdle, Gauthier writes that his firm has started setting aside a week, every 90 days, when 10 investment managers visit the office to make their pitches.
"Before the meeting we send each company an agenda that outlines what we're interested in hearing about, as well as information about our clients' current investments," he writes. "One important improvement we've made to these quarterly meetings over the past five years is to open them up to current and prospective clients. We send out postcards with scheduling information a month or so in advance, and clients may attend the meetings that interest them. …It's a practice that has brought us new clients and created a lot of client loyalty," Gauthier writes.
A Breakdown Of S&P 500 Company Costs Since 1994 (Goldman Sachs)
Corporate profit margins are at record highs. Some argue that profit margins can fall going forward, others argue that they have room to expand further. "Firms have enjoyed a secular increase in the productivity of labor and capital as well as technological innovations such as real-time inventory management, reducing both fixed and variable costs," Goldman Sachs' Amanda Sneider wrote in a note to clients. "Low inflation in terms of commodity inputs and labor costs have been tailwinds. Taxes and interest rates have never been more favorable for the profitability of firms." Here's a look at how each of the components of the income statement has impacted margins.
Why Investors Should Avoid Talking To Management (Investment News)
Institutional investors typically meet with management for a deeper insight into a company's strategy, but Eric Heyman, portfolio manager of the Olstein Strategic Opportunities Fund, says his firm does not. "Unlike most investors, we steer clear of such meetings, for two essential reasons: to reduce the emotional aspects of investment decisions and to avoid the short-term outlook that often underscores earnings guidance," he writes in Investment News.
"In three of the past four years the S&P 500 raced higher in March only to reverse all of those gains in a pullback of about 10% that began in late March or April," writes Jeff Kleintop at LPL Financial. With that in mind he points out the sixteen factors that could move markets in coming months. Each of these sixteen factors fall into one of four factors, economy, policy, fundamentals and sentiment.
More From Business Insider