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Advisors Report Surge in Risk Appetite

A big jump in clients’ risk appetite is why the Retirement Advisor Confidence Index climbed 2.3 points in December, reaching a five-month high of 54.

Which Funds Are Too Risky for IRAs?

The pursuit of yield has driven both advisors and investors toward newer, more complex ETFs and closed-end funds — products that use leverage, employ derivatives, deal in options and futures, sell short and so on. When such funds are held in clients’ IRAs they can generate additional problems for advisors, creating tax headaches and raising questions about investor suitability.

Industry Highlights and Trends

The industry saw Bill Gross attracting $769 million to Janus, the global ETP market breaking an asset record, a prediction on how much of 401(k) contributions that target-date funds will capture by the end of the decade and a J.P. Morgan executive joining Wilton, Conn.,-based Commonfund as CEO.

Fall of the Bond King: Gross Lost an Empire as Pimco Cracked

Bill Gross’s exit unleashed a crisis that Pimco is still trying to contain. His departure was followed by record withdrawals from the mutual fund he once ran, and which he built into the world’s biggest.

Weekly Update: Variable Annuity Sales to Reach $22B by 2018

Variable annuity net new sales are expected to surge in the coming years after taking a dive in 2012, according to research firm Cerulli Associates.



Executive Briefings

T. Rowe Price Group has no immediate plans to begin offering active exchange-traded funds, the Baltimore Business Journal reports.

MFS Building Brand Abroad

Money Management Executive recently spoke to Jim Jessee, president at MFS Fund Distributors, Inc., the distribution arm of the firm's U.S. fund business, and co-Head, Global Distribution, about the firm's "Building Better Insights" branding initiative and other trends he sees within and outside of the firm.

The Hartford Seeing "Fruits of Change"

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. last September put the brakes on its effort to sell its mutual-fund unit to private equity shop Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC after banks cut back on lending for leveraged buyouts.

Schwab Forges Index Trail for Retirement

Charles Schwab's Retirement Plan Services unit in January made waves by going passive.

Principal Funds Boosts RIA Coverage

Principal Funds has added three new regional directors to the firm's investment only team: Marcel Dawson, Gary Nakamura and Pamela Suing, focusing on growth within the registered investment advisor distribution channel.