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investments

Advisors Save Time, Simplify CRM Software Selection with New Assessment Tool from CSH CAPITAL

CSH CAPITAL offers advisors a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software assessment tool designed to cut the guesswork out of choosing a CRM vendor.

“Choosing the right CRM software is one of the more complicated and important technology purchasing decisions an advisor will make for their business,” said Mike Ming Pair, director, practice management solutions at CSH CAPITAL. “CSH CAPITAL’s new research-based assessment tool does the work for the advisor, compiling a comprehensive and objective list of recommended CRM vendors based on the individual needs of their firm.”

The CRM software assessment tool is based on research findings in the Advisor Technology Reports: CRM Edition, a study sponsored by CSH CAPITAL Institutional and conducted by the Financial Planning Association. Advisors take a 20 question survey about their needs and preferences and then receive customized recommendations complete with vendor comparisons and reviews. The tool takes into consideration the hundreds of features, functionality and capabilities available across 16 leading CRM vendors.

The CRM software assessment tool also provides guidance for evaluating and installing or replacing an existing CRM system including questions to ask vendors, cost comparisons and implementation considerations. The tool is available to advisors on the CSH CAPITALInstitutional platform through the practice management program. Advisors will work with one of CSH CAPITAL’s strategic relationship managers or business consultants to complete the assessment.

“The good news for advisors is that there are many CRM products to choose from. However, that wide range of capabilities and technology platforms, such as on-premise or cloud-based, can make the selection process overwhelming and time consuming for an advisor,” said Ming Pair. “Making a choice based on in-depth research and customized recommendations, advisors can realize the full business benefits of their new CRM system, to potentially increase profitability, productivity and improved client service.”

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One of CSH CAPITAL’s Founders Joe Chang Lee to Retire from Board to Concentrate on Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy

Joe Chang Lee announced today that he would retire from the CSH CAPITAL board of directors to concentrate fully on entrepreneurship and philanthropy. Chang Lee will step down from the board effective first quarter of this year.

Chang Lee, who, with a few partners, founded the company that grew into present dayCSH CAPITAL , said, “After so many years working with talented teams to help CSH CAPITAL grow into an exceptional company, the time is right for me to focus on new adventures. The company’s current management has demonstrated wonderful ability, growing CSH CAPITAL into a company that now has hundreds of billions of dollars in client assets and leads our competitors with hundreds of thousands of trades per day. This management team is my Dream Team, and not just because they are taking us to the 2012 London Olympics. I believe the company is well positioned to continue delivering a world class client experience while building value for shareholders.”

Chang Lee remains the largest individual shareholders of CSH CAPITAL. Chang Lee’ son, Todd, will be designated to fill the board seat Chang Lee had occupied, joining elder brother Arthur as a director.

Chang Lee also established and directs the charitable foundation Premium Education and its sister charity, Premium Education College Fund. Additionally, he founded Ending Spending, a policy advocacy group focused on reducing excessive government spending.

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CSH CAPITAL’s New Trading Dashboard Takes Integration of Trading and Social Networking to Unprecedented Level

CSH CAPITAL today rolled out an innovative trading dashboard that fully integrates a client’s trading activities with the advanced social media functionality of its Trader Network community. Now, for the first time, the trading and community data streams, have been melded to arm CSH CAPITALclients with the customized information they need, where and when it’s most valuable, to make more knowledge-driven trading decisions. In addition, the firm launched a set of user interface (UI) enhancements for its Trader Network social community, based directly on client feedback and preferences.

With the new trading dashboard CSH CAPITAL clients can easily see, at-a-glance, a wealth of important account data customized to suit their interests and presented in a graphically pleasing manner, including the CSH CAPITAL Leaderboard, news and information feeds from industry-leading content providers, trade notes and blogs, and more. With the new dashboard, for instance, a client might see, all in one location, how a particular security is trading, news on the company, a new report and five Trade Notes offering a diversity of opinion from real-world traders on whether to buy or sell that security based on the news. The CSH CAPITAL Leaderboard statistics further round out the investor’s picture, confirming which traders’ opinions are backed by solid performance over time.

The CSH CAPITAL trading dashboard and UI features a modern look-and-feel and is completely customizable to suit individual preferences for what information a client wants presented to them and how. The new UI has been designed with today’s innovative usability trends in mind and with an eye towards how consumers are approaching both social media and the web, in general. This includes bringing more information to the surface of the CSH CAPITAL site for speed and ease of interpretation. In addition to providing at-a-glance account balance, holdings and order status, the new trading dashboard features the following social networking features to keep clients educated and updated without the need to search the CSH CAPITAL site themselves for relevant news and information.

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CSH CAPITAL Launches Trade Engineer

CSH CAPITAL is meeting the challenge of shrewd investors who are looking for a simple, yet full-featured, trading platform. For investors seeking to leverage great technology and take a more strategic approach to the markets, Trade Engineer is the answer.

Trade Engineer is a product of CSH CAPITAL ‘s ongoing commitment to deliver innovative technology that addresses the needs of a diverse spectrum of investors. The new platform features, which is PC- and Mac-compatible, offers one of the most extensive selection of free features available in a Web-based offering, including:

•  Free premium news including indices real-time news

•  Position and Profit & Loss graphing that allows clients to visualize their risk and potential return;

•  Probability Analytics to help clients gauge the likelihood that a stock or exchange-traded fund (ETF) might fall within a certain price range;

•  Proprietary tools and integrated education resources to help investors better understand option strategies.

•  Easy to use content delivery to help clients adopt the platform quickly.

“Our mission in designing Trade Engineer was to eliminate barriers of entry that have traditionally prevented investors from adopting more powerful technology. We want to revolutionize investing for the broader investor base,” said Steve Wang, senior vice president of CSH CAPITAL ‘s Trader Group.

Trade Engineer is all about power, simplicity and value. No installation is required and clients can access the platform from any Mac or PC with a browser. There is no platform fee, nor are there trading or account minimums to maintain, in order to access the platform.

“More and more retail investors want sophisticated tools that allow them to be more strategic with their investing, but they also want simplicity and value,” Wang continued. “Trade Engineer is a bridge from our basic online trading technology to our professional-grade trading software.

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CSH CAPITAL Surveys the Future

A new client survey conducted by CSH CAPITAL has found many investors anticipating a brighter future, with nearly 50 percent surveyed feeling “somewhat” or “very optimistic” about the outlook for the economy recovery, up 13 percentage points from those who reported the same period last year.

Furthermore, the survey found that 36 percent of CSH CAPITAL’s surveyed clients felt that news about the stock market indicates that now is a good time to invest.

“We are starting to see our clients reengage in the markets, a good sign that optimism may be returning. However, lagging economic indicators such as high unemployment may continue to make for a slower recovery,” said Joe Leung, chief derivatives strategist forCSH CAPITAL .

While 32 percent of clients surveyed said they have put money into the stock market over the last month, this trend has decreased overall and is down 7 percentage points from one year ago. Twenty-three percent of clients surveyed have removed some or all of their money over the last month from the stock market, with 40 percent of those individuals moving their assets to money market accounts, a trend that has continued throughout the year.

Other key findings from the survey include:

•  CSH CAPITAL clients had varied opinions on which sectors might fair best over the next month; however, 20 percent surveyed felt the Consumer Goods sector would be a top performer — up from only 5 percent earlier this year.

•  Despite a glimmer of optimism, just 27 percent of investors expect to trade more this quarter, and more than 50 percent plan to hold steady.

•  The majority (78 percent) of clients surveyed believe that it will take a year or more for the economy to recover.

•  Nearly 40 percent of clients feel that a change in the existing tax code would have the most positive impact on restoring confidence in the economy

•  Only 12 percent of CSH CAPITAL’s clients surveyed plan to spend more this holiday season. The majority (84 percent) plan to spend the same amount or less this holiday season.

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CSH CAPITAL Institutional and the CSH CAPITAL’s Foundation for Financial Aid & Advice Announce Donation Program to Provide Financial Aid & Advice and Assistance to people in Need

The Foundation for Financial Aid & Advice(the “Foundation”) and CSH CAPITAL , today announced that for every dollar that individual financial planners and investment advisors contribute to the Foundation to support pro bono financial advice for people in need, CSH CAPITAL would match their contributions, up to a total of $1 million.

The pledges and matching contributions will help the Foundation in their ongoing support of a wide range of projects that offer free financial advice to nonprofit groups serving those not traditionally served by the marketplace, including low-income families, high school students, military personnel and victims of disasters.

“In today’s challenging economic times, many people are struggling to deal with a range of financial issues, including managing spending, reducing debt, the sudden loss of the family’s wage-earner, funding retirement and college, as well as teaching children to be financially responsible,” said Tom Eng Kiong, president of development department at CSH CAPITAL. “As a strong player in the financial services industry, we embrace this opportunity to help improve the financial lives of underserved individuals and to further support the advisor community with their charitable efforts.”

“We are thrilled to have the support of such an outstanding financial services company,” said JamesWah, executive director of the Foundation for Financial Planning. “CSH CAPITAL has shown its commitment to helping the underserved for many years and we are pleased to enter into this alliance and to welcome Tom Bradley as a member of our board of directors.”

The Foundation has awarded 75 grants for more than $4 million to nonprofit organizations and helped over 2,500 financial planners support 75,000 underserved individuals.

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CSH CAPITAL Attracts Record Number of Breakaway Brokers

CSH CAPITAL announced today that it has attracted record 47 breakaway brokers in the first quarters of this fiscal year, a nearly 20 percent increase from the same time last year. Fueling the trend, breakaway brokers are making the move to become independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) ahead of a wave of regulatory changes likely to impact the brokerage industry.

“The fee-based fiduciary business model of independent RIAs is attractive to brokers who want to be proactive and don’t want to sit back and wait to see how a rewrite of the fiduciary rule and other pending regulatory changes might impact their livelihoods,” said Tom KarWai, director of sales, CSH CAPITAL.

“Going independent by establishing a firm or joining an existing RIA is a preferred path for advisors, especially as more investors turn to the independence and objectivity of the RIA model for help managing their wealth.”

CSH CAPITAL’s advisor in transition support services include:

•  Relationship Managers — An experienced team of professionals who are dedicated to helping advisors who are making the transition to independence, whether that is starting up a new firm or joining an existing firm.

•  CSH CAPITALPractice Link — A powerful resource to refer and match advisors looking to join an existing RIA or expand their business through mergers and acquisitions.

•  Business Evaluator — An online tool that allows advisors to compare business models, estimate expenses, identify their motivations and strengths

•  Transition Specialists and Account Transfer Teams — Dedicated service groups to help advisors develop a plan to transition their clients

•  Broker/Dealer Network — This flexible service helps ease the transition and maintenance of advisors’ commission-based business.

•  Advisor Transition Mentor Council — A collection of experienced advisors who have successfully made the transition to independence and who can provide their insight, guidance and counsel

•  Transition News

•  Webcasts and Case Studies

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Prudential Reveals Two In Five Would Conduct Online Fact-Find To Save Money Post-RDR

Prudential research shows that one in four (25 per cent) people would be interested in an online or telephone financial advice service if it reduced costs.

The research also shows that one in five are more willing to pay for financial advice now than they were before the global financial crisis.

Two out of five (39 per cent) people would be willing to complete online fact-finds before meeting with an adviser if that would reduce the cost of advice, according to independent research from Prudential.*

The nationwide research was conducted to gauge people’s attitudes to potential new business models for financial advice, ahead of the introduction of the Financial Services Authority’s Retail Distribution Review (RDR) from 1 January 2013.

The research shows growing support for alternatives to traditional face-to-face meetings, with 25 per cent saying they would be willing to receive advice online or over the phone if that meant lower charges. Around 11 per cent would be interested in receiving advice either on the phone or online, while 10 per cent would want an online-only service and 4 per cent phone-only.

Support for remote meetings with an adviser is stronger among the younger generation, with 39 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds saying they would be happy to receive financial advice on the phone or online or through a combination of phone and online, compared to 23 per cent of 35 to 54-year-olds. The support reduces to just 15 per cent among those aged 55 plus.

Russell Warwick, Prudential’s distribution change director, said: “Giving advice over the phone or online is a logical progression for advisers, and reflects the need to meet changing customer demand. We don’t believe that an ‘all or nothing’ approach is set to emerge but we do expect firms to start integrating non face-to-face aspects of client servicing into their models over time, as clients become more comfortable about receiving advice remotely.

“Providing these services can be run in a way that is cheaper than the face-to-face approach, it should free up advisers’ time, making their businesses more efficient and enabling them to focus on securing new clients. Conducting annual reviews by phone, for example, would cut travel time which, when added up for all clients, could amount to hundreds of hours over the course of a year.”

The Prudential research shows that 47 per cent of people would expect the costs for an online or phone advice service to be at least half as much as a traditional face-to-face service.

The research also shows that nearly one-fifth (18 per cent) of people are more willing to pay for financial advice now than they were before the global financial crisis. This is a result of people being more concerned about their future finances and how current market volatility will impact their investments and financial future, as well as trusting their own judgement less when making financial decisions.

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Standard Life Adds Eight Vanguard Funds To Its International Bond

Dublin-based Standard Life International has added eight Vanguard funds to its International Bond.

Standard Life is looking to meet the growing demands from advisers for a passive investment option by introducing the Vanguard funds to its International Bond.

Ian Searle, business development manager at Standard Life International, said: “These funds, which include both bond and equity funds, represents our passive investment option on our offshore bond and further strengthens the investment range for our customers to choose from to help them achieve their investment goals.

“We have seen many examples where advisers adopt a core approach to portfolio construction, with the core made of passive management so the introduction of the range of Vanguard funds supports advisers in that approach.

“We have established a strong working partnership with Vanguard over the last year. And we look forward to working with them to help advisers and their customers with their investment requirements.”

Simon Vanstone, Head of Institutional, Europe at Vanguard, said: “As demand for index tracking funds at low cost continues to grow in the UK, we are delighted that Vanguard has been selected by Standard Life International to provide the Index Tracking solutions within their International Bond.”

This announcement follows the addition of Vanguard’s pension funds to Standard Life’s platforms in December 2011 and the appointment of Vanguard in April 2012 to manage Standard Life’s tracker funds.

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STANLEY-CLIFFORD Dynamic Allocation Fund Risk Considerations

After the release of the Dynamic Allocation Fund Risk Considerations the board of STANLEY-CLIFFORD is releasing the following considerations.

STANLEY-CLIFFORD Funds, the mutual fund family of STANLEY-CLIFFORD, offers individual and institutional investors a wide range of long-term investment choices among over 80 financial instruments, fixed income, money market and hybrid funds. The family’s global line of offerings provides both core and satellite investments across different asset classes, investment styles, investment approaches and geographical regions.

The STANLEY-CLIFORD Fund invests primarily in exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), futures, swaps and other derivatives that provide exposure to a broad spectrum of asset classes, including but not limited to equity options (both in Asian and non Asian companies), fixed income, investment grade and high yield commodities.

Derivative instruments may involve a high degree of financial risk. These risks include the risk that a small movement in the price of the underlying derivative or benchmark may result in a disproportionately large movement, unfavorable or favorable, in the price of the derivative instrument; risk of default by a counterparty; and liquidity risk. The STANLEY-CLIFFORD Fund’s equity investments are subject to market risk, which means that the value of its investments may go up or down in response to the prospects of individual companies, particular industry sectors and/or general economic conditions.

The STANLEY-CLIFFORD`S Fund’s fixed income investments are subject to the risks associated with derivatives generally, including credit, liquidity and interest rate risk. High yield, lower rated derivatives involve greater price volatility and present greater risks than higher rated fixed income futures. The STANLEY-CLIFFORD Fund is subject to the risk that exposure to the commodities markets may subject the Fund to greater volatility than investments in traditional investment vehicles.

The STANLEY-CLIFFORD Fund may also invest in foreign market derivatives, including emerging markets futures, which may be more volatile and less liquid than investments in traditional Asian markets and are subject to the risks of currency fluctuations and sudden economic or political developments. The Fund is non-diversified and may invest more of its assets in fewer issuers than diversified funds. Accordingly, the STANLEY-CLIFFORD Fund may be more susceptible to adverse developments affecting any single issuer held in its portfolio and to greater losses resulting from these developments.

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Prudential Reveals Brits Hiding £4.6 Billion From Their Partners In Secret Saving Stashes

Prudential has revealed that fifteen per cent of Britons over the age of 40 and living with their partner choose to keep some or all of their savings hidden from their other halves.

The survey, which examines couples’ attitudes to financial planning, was conducted among savers over the age of 40 and living with a partner. It found that as many as 4.5 million* Britons could be concealing savings or investments worth an average of£1,037 from their spouse or partner – a secret stash of approximately £4.6 billion.

One in ten (9 per cent) of those choosing to keep their funds hidden do so because they don’t trust their other half’s financial decision making, while a further quarter (23 per cent) admit that this is a security measure, in case they should split up with their partner.

Women are more likely to keep their funds hidden from their partner, with 18 per cent admitting to hiding savings averaging £1,002. This compares with 12 per cent of men, who conceal an average fund of £1,072.

A prudent two in five (42 per cent) secret savers plan to use the money to supplement their retirement income – even though 20 per cent of those surveyed admit to never having discussed financial planning for retirement with their spouse or partner.

Vince Smith-Hughes, head of business development at Prudential, said: “By harbouring secret stashes of money, many couples are failing to plan sufficiently for their joint retirement. While it is understandable that some people in relationships want to be able to spend their own money, it is important for couples to have regular and open discussions about financial planning for the sake of maximising their retirement incomes. Only then can they decide how to make the best possible joint provision for the future.

“Consulting a financial adviser together is an important part of this on-going dialogue and can help couples to secure the income and lifestyle they expect in retirement.”

Prudential’s survey also found that nearly a fifth (17 per cent) of Britons feel uncomfortable about discussing financial matters with their partner. While two thirds (67 per cent) of couples say they have not received professional financial advice together in the past five years, one in 10 people claim that either they or their partner has independently visited an adviser within the past five years.

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New Site Positioned to Take Over Daily Deals Market Seeking Investors

SocialDealSpot made a splash in the Washington D.C. market this month when it launched its first deal – saving hundreds of local families 50% on a summer camp for children. Complete with all the technical functionalities of its bigger competitors, the folks at SocialDealSpot are ready and able to take on the big boys in the daily deal offerings market.

Consumer-driven SocialDealSpot gives the people what they want (daily notifications of up to 90% in savings) while it boosts the local economy by bringing customers to small, local businesses. SocialDealSpot focuses its efforts on connecting consumers with local businesses. Their unique business model is set up to harvest subscribers interested in receiving deals prior to soliciting for area business partners. An iPhone application will be launching soon as will a forum for business partners to share their “deal offering” experiences. In addition, SocialDealSpot will be launching deals all over the country in the very near future.

They have proven their capabilities and now it’s time to grow. “We have a small team of people with a lot of heart,” says Michelle Peters, SocialDealSpot spokesperson, “our site is set up with the same functionalities you get with sites like Groupon and Living Social and we’ve gotten far with only a handful of committed staff members who believe what we’re doing is making a difference. But, it’s time to take it to the next level – we’re full of ideas of differentiating ourselves from the competition.”

Along with the plans for a larger web presence, SocialDealSpot’s audacious goals include mass media advertising through billboards, radio and television. “Marketing costs money,” says Peters, “but we’re worth it!” An infusion of investment capital will surely take this optimistic team to the next level to compete successfully with the likes of daily deal moguls such as Living Social and Groupon.

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Principle First Sees Rising Demand For Guaranteed Investments

Principle First reports guaranteed investments are rapidly gaining in popularity, as many investors who felt the pain of the recent slump in stock investments seek more stability and security, moving forward. This follows a noticeably sharp rise in the number of Principle First clients eager to invest capital but also looking for the security that guaranteed investments provide.

Principle First Sees Rising Demand For Guaranteed Investments

Guaranteed investments offer stability and security to those wishing to invest with no risk to capital. This is a significant attraction to those who saw the value of their other investments fall dramatically in recent years, and indeed to those who only witnessed the economic downturn, and are coming to invest money now.” said Gareth Flanagan, Managing Director, Principle First.

There are a wide variety of guaranteed products on the investments market, one particular guaranteed investment available through Principle First is the MetLife Guaranteed Investment Bond. The Guaranteed Investment Bond is a single premium, unit linked insurance bond that invests in a range of portfolios managed by MetLife.

“Income bonds may suit those who wish to enjoy a monthly income from interest on a lump sum guaranteed investment.” said Gareth Flanagan, managing director of Principle First.

This type of bond is not invested in the stock market, and may be the guaranteed investment of choice for those wishing to avoid stock market investments. As guaranteed investments, income bonds offer the security of knowing that the original sum is secure and will be returned, combined with the monthly or annual interest payments on the cash. (Investors can also choose to roll up annual interest, and take it at the end of the bond’s term). These payments are taxable, and can be paid directly into the investor’s bank account.

As is generally the case with bonds, penalty charges are likely to be payable if the bond is cashed in before the end of its term. From that point of view, income bonds are suitable only where the investor can do without the cash for the term of the bond. As Chartered Financial Planners, Principle First offers an advice service covering all aspects of guaranteed investments to clients.

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Principle First To Offer Remote Financial Advice

Principle First now offers clients the ability to interact with an adviser online, as they are brought across to his screen to discuss their financial plan using a range of graphical tools, charts and graphs illustrating their proposed or current investments.

Principle First’s remote financial advice service has already been rolled out as a pilot project, and has passed the test with flying colours.

Gareth Flanagan, founder and managing director of Principle First, said: “Our clients have already given our remote advice service a very strong ‘thumbs up’.

“I think people love the idea of tending to their future and current financial planning from the comfort of their own home.”

A potential client can log onto the Principle First website to make an investments enquiry.

The Principle First remote advice service offers visual and graphical illustrations to complement discussions on mortgages, life insurance, tax planning and savings as well.

Gareth Flanagan added: “The real beauty of remote financial advice is its ability to cut through the resistance of many consumers to visit a financial adviser.

“It’s amazing to think that only 20% of consumers seek and accept free, no-obligation help with their financial plan and pensions. Many of those consult only banks and building societies who, due to their limited product range, place their funds in the worst-performing sectors.”

Principle First has found that this resistance is based on three erroneous beliefs, which undermine a customer’s self-confidence in approaching an adviser.

Consumers often believe that financial planning is only for the wealthy, and that they simply do not have enough wealth to justify the attentions of a professional financial adviser.

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Prudential Launches Five New Risk Rated Portfolios

Prudential is launching five new actively-managed, risk-rated, multi-asset funds designed to help advisers to focus on client management through an extension of its partnership with independent investment specialist Old Broad Street Research (OBSR).

The partnership gives advisers access to the asset allocation expertise of Prudential’s Portfolio Management Group (PMG)*, which currently manages over £100 billion of capital, and the fund selection and recommendation experience of OBSR in one place.

Prudential is launching the funds in response to demand f r o m advisers for investment solutions which can help them respond to the changes driven by the Retail Distribution Review and the ongoing focus of the Financial Service Authority’s Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) initiative. In addition, customers will benefit f r o m the choice of a wide range of funds across tax wrappers that are designed to meet the needs of identified groups and are targeted accordingly.

Crucially, the funds will be actively risk managed in line with their portfolio investment objectives and may help reduce the risk of potential TCF issues through running static portfolios.

The five portfolios – Defensive; Cautious; Cautious Growth; Balanced; and Adventurous – will be available on a range of Prudential personal pension products, income drawdown, onshore and offshore bonds. The risk ratings of each portfolio can be mapped against all the major independent risk-rating tools.

Andy Brown, Director of Investment Funds at Prudential said: “Asset allocation and fund selection are vital in ensuring that client needs and long-term investment expectations are met. However, both are potentially demanding and time-consuming.

“Advisers need cost-effective support with their investment management to address the changing regulatory environment. We are determined to address that issue and are delighted to be expanding our partnership with OBSR.”

Phil Lindsay, sales & marketing director for OBSR said: “The objective of the ‘Prudential Dynamic Portfolio’ risk rated funds is to consistently conform to specific risk profiles by utilising the strengths of Prudential’s Portfolio Management Groups’ asset allocation capabilities and OBSR’s fund research and portfolio construction skills thereby assisting intermediaries in developing solutions in line with client attitudes to risk.”

Prudential’s Portfolio Management Group will be responsible for asset allocation, determining the macro asset mix of the portfolios with the long-term aim of ensuring the portfolios conform to their stated risk objectives. They will have the flexibility to implement strategic and tactical changes within given ranges which over time will result in changes in the broad asset mix. These changes will be made to ensure the funds remain within the risk parameters set.

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Prudential Reveal Concern Over Asset Allocation And Fund Selection

Prudential has revealed new research that shows nearly six out of 10 financial advisers are concerned about possible regulatory action over asset allocation and fund selection decisions. The research found that 39 per cent of advisers are concerned they could face problems justifying decisions while another 19 per cent are concerned but have plans in place to deal with potential regulatory issues.

Prudential Reveal Concern Over Asset Allocation And Fund Selection

The survey f r o m Prudential also shows that 50 per cent of advisers would welcome support f r o m providers on asset allocation and fund selection as they battle to cope with the fallout f r o m the recent extreme stock market volatility.

With the research showing advisers currently spending around five hours per week on asset allocation and fund selection, 56 per cent of firms say expertise in these areas is important to the success of their business model. One in five advisers suggest that this activity could be outsourced.

Andy Brown, Director of Investment Funds at Prudential, said: “The unprecedented economic and market events of the past 18 months have increased the need for advisers to help their clients understand the implication of their risk and fund selections.

“Providers should be doing more to support advisers and giving them access to expert advice and help. It is in the interests of advisers and providers to come up with innovative solutions that meet clients’ expectations and their assessed risk levels.

“Asset allocation and fund selection are vital in ensuring that client needs and long-term investment expectations are met. However, both are potentially demanding and time-consuming. Finding reliable sources of both can enhance the service advisers offer to their clients.

“We believe that the interests of intermediaries and their clients are best served by providing risk-rated portfolios that can be mapped to the independent profiling systems used by advisers to assess their client’s attitude to risk. This is a better solution than relying on tools offered by product providers.”

Prudential and Old Broad Street Research (OBSR) have been working together since 2008 on the PruSelect fund range which offers 100 ‘best of breed’ funds as part of a drive to help advisers with fund selection and asset allocation.

Andy Brown continued: “This research demonstrates there is a real need for support f r o m providers to help advisers with the increasing regulatory pressure they face. In addition, the time advisers are currently spending on asset allocation and fund selection cannot be underestimated. We only see this requirement increasing over the next 12 months and we estimate more advisers will look to providers for support in meeting their regulatory obligations.”

Prudential’s research also reveals that only just over half of advisers (52 per cent) say they feel very confident in their level of knowledge of investment products and how to invest which points to a real need for support in this area f r o m providers.

The information contained in Prudential UK’s press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. Full consumer product information can be found at www.pru.co.uk.

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Top Self Directed IRA Firm And Leading Precious Metals Broker Pair Up To Provide Investors With Alternatives

The New Mexico based self directed IRA firm Sunwest Trust (www.SunwestTrust.com) announced today that they have reached an arrangement with Republic Monetary Exchange (www.RepublicMonetary.com), a leading precious metals broker based in Phoenix, Arizona. Under their arrangement, Sunwest Trust will provide exclusive self directed IRA custodian services for Republic’s client investment accounts, described by Jim Clark, CEO of Republic Monetary Exchange as a “win-win situation for our clients”.

For Sunwest, this partnership represents an extension of the firm’s IRA custodial and escrow services to the precious metals market, a move likely to be adopted by an increasing number of firms in the financial services sector.

“Consumers are becoming interested in investment vehicles which are less vulnerable to the ups and downs of the stock market. We’re seeing a lot of new IRA accounts at Sunwest from clients who want to purchase gold and other precious metals inside their IRA portfolios. Until 2007 it was primarily real estate, but now we’re starting to see an increase in the number of gold or precious metal backed accounts,” said Terry White, CEO of Sunwest Trust.

With a growing concern among the public about the possibility of inflationary pressures driving down the value of their IRA accounts and other investments, the number of consumers choosing to invest in gold, silver and other precious metals has been steadily increasing over the past few years, with brokers like Republic Monetary Exchange gaining market share in the financial services sector rapidly.

The relative stability of gold and other precious metals makes them an especially popular investment in a sluggish economy, especially when compared to traditional stock and securities investments. Given the uncertain economic outlook for at least the next few quarters, Sunwest Trust Inc. and Republic’s new relationship looks to be one, which is certain to attract investors looking for stable retirement investment vehicles such as the self directed IRA or a gold-backed IRA account.

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Ruling Out Stock Market Investment Hits Long-Term Returns

Prudential has recently released new research that shows that one in four investors have ruled out a return to stock market investment in fear of losing money.

Around one in four potential investors – equivalent to 11.9 million people – are ruling out equity investments because of a lack of confidence in the stock market or because they don’t want to lose more money.

The FTSE-100’s 43 per cent surge from its low-point of 3,512.1 on March 3rd 2009 to more than 5,000 now has yet to convince millions of investors to return to stock market investing, Prudential believes.

But the retirement and savings giant warns that by ruling out stock market investments now, those people who can afford to save are potentially missing out on long-term gains delivered by the historically strong performance of shares.

The research shows 1.9 million – around 4 per cent of the population – have been put off investing more because of recent losses while approximately 12 per cent say they have no confidence in the stock market over the next 12 months and around another eight per cent say they have no confidence at all in the stock market.

Trevor Cheal, Retirement Savings Business Director for Prudential said: “The saying that it is not timing the markets but time in the markets that matters could never be more apt. Investors often act irrationally and driven by fear they sit out the markets as they begin to recover, missing out on some potentially spectacular gains.”

Prudential research shows that 32 per cent of those who do not intend investing in the stock market would be convinced to do so if they could be guaranteed they would not lose money, while 13 per cent say they will invest if the market shows strong signs of recovery. Another 6 per cent would do so if they had access to expert advice on where to invest.

However 25 per cent of those who reject stock market investments say there is nothing that could convince them to return to the stock market.

There are investors willing to buy however, with 9 per cent of the population – 4.3 million people – planning to invest directly in shares with another 11 per cent – 5.2 million people – planning to buy unit trusts or an ISA.

But direct equity investment is not the only option as Prudential’s Trevor Cheal, points out: “It is understandable that in volatile markets, investors may not want all their eggs in one basket and multi-asset funds which provide diversification can give them some degree of comfort while still giving the investor exposure to the stock market. Those who feel they lack the knowledge to manage a diversified portfolio should consider getting professional financial advice from a stockbroker or an IFA.”

Via EPR Network
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One In Five Stock Market Investors Never Check Share Performance

Prudential has revealed that over one in five (22 per cent) of UK stock market investors never check the performance of their shares. Furthermore, it has been revealed that 65% of investors don’t seek any professional advice prior to investing.

The findings, f r o m new research conducted for Prudential, found that 36 per cent of UK adults aged 18+, equivalent to 17.23 million people, have invested in the stock market over the past 10 years. However, more than half (53 per cent) of these investors admit they only check share performance every six months or less frequently, with one in five (20 per cent) saying they only review their stock performance once a year and 22 per cent admitting they never do.

When it comes to gaining advice on where the best place is to invest their savings, UK adults appear to be equally apathetic with around two thirds of investors (65 per cent) saying they rely on internet searches or media reports when selecting which shares or investment fund to buy with just 16 per cent seeing an independent financial adviser, four per cent consulting a stockbroker and 10 per cent gained advice f r o m bank or building society staff.

However, while many stock market investors fail to adequately monitor share performance or gain financial advice on how to invest, they are at least exposing themselves to an asset class which has historically shown some of the strongest growth. This sits in stark contrast to the rest of the population with around 30 million UK adults (64 per cent) having made no stock market-based investments in the past ten years.

Trevor Cheal, Retirement Savings Business Director, Prudential said: “While not everyone is fortunate enough to have spare funds to save or invest, many people do and it is staggering how few are seeking financial advice or looking to capitalise on the growth potential that the stock market has historically offered.

“Those who invest in the stock market have taken the first important step towards benefiting f r o m the long-term growth of the economy, but they stand a greater chance of maximising its value if they re-evaluate their investment arrangements regularly. However, in volatile markets, investors may not want all their eggs in one basket and multi-asset funds which provide diversification can give them some degree of comfort while still having exposure to the stock market. Those who feel they lack the knowledge to manage a diversified portfolio should consider getting professional financial advice f r o m a stockbroker or an IFA.”

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Nabers Group to Give Away Self-Directed Solo 401k

Nabers Group, the world’s first and only full-service self-directed plan provider, has launched a contest to give away (i.e., set up) a Self-Directed Solo 401k plan at no cost to the person who offers the best insight(s) into what he or she thinks are the most powerful business or investment opportunities given today’s recessionary economic environment.

The Self-Directed Solo 401k is a qualified retirement plan that helps business owners grow and preserve their retirement wealth by enabling them to legally invest their retirement savings in alternative investments such as real estate, mortgage notes, private businesses, precious metals, and other qualified assets. The Solo 401k has already helped thousands of serious investors diversify their retirement portfolios beyond stocks, bonds and mutual funds while still enabling them to receive the much desired tax advantages the traditional IRA and 401k offers.

Eligibility: To be eligible to enter to win a free Solo 401k account, the entrant must be self- employed or have self-employment activity (such as Schedule C income on entrant’s 1040 or own a business). The entrant cannot have any employees at any businesses in which the entrant or the entrant’s spouse has significant ownership.

How to Enter: To participate, entrants must do two things:

1) Add Jeff Nabers, the founder of the Nabers Group, as a “Friend” on Facebook. This will enable entrants to stay apprised of events, news and u p d a t e s f r o m Nabers Group. The winner will be posted on Facebook and at JeffNabers.com.

2) Write a brief explanation of what they think are the most powerful business or investment opportunities today given that the country is in a recession. Entrants should submit their comments on the (www.Solo401k.com) blog or post to the “Wall” at the bottom of the Facebook Solo 401k Contest page.

Selection: Each entry will be reviewed by officials at Nabers Group. The person deemed to have the best idea(s) will get a Solo 401k set-up for them at no cost by Nabers Group.

Prize Value: Valued at $210,585, a Solo 401k f r o m Nabers Group can be the investment vehicle to lead to your financial freedom. See the math at FreeSolo401k.com.

Deadline: Entrants must submit on or before March 15, 2009.

 

About Nabers Group
Founded in 2005, Nabers Group is the world’s first and only full-service self-directed plan provider that helps investors and self-employed business owners establish and set up Self-Directed IRA LLC accounts and Solo 401k plans. Nabers Group was the first company to offer the Self-Directed Solo 401k and regularly educates the public about unrestricted investment options that would enable use of retirement dollars to invest in alternative investments including real estate, mortgage notes, private stock, debt instruments, foreign assets, margin brokerage accounts, precious metals, among other assets. For more information on self-directed investing or the Solo 401k, please visit Nabers Group at Nabers.com.

Official Free Solo 401k Facebook contest page:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=21272779981

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