What Saudi shakeup means for oil, economy

What Saudi shakeup means for oil, economy

Taking the U.S.-Saudi partnership to the next level
Saudi Arabia has a new heir to the throne. King Salman on Wednesday published a decree promoting his son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to crown prince in place of Prince Mohammed bin Nayaf.
It's the second unexpected shakeup in the leadership of the world's top oil exporter and the Middle East's biggest economy since 2015, and comes as the Royal family tries to bring about a radical transformation of the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia sits on 22% of the world's proven petroleum reserves. It's the biggest member of the OPEC group of oil exporters, and has played a leading role in attempts to restrain supply to boost prices.
Analysts say the reshuffle could boost the economic reform effort, but oil policy is unlikely to change.
'Business as usual' for oil
“It'll be business as usual and continuing its leadership role in OPEC,” said John Sfakianakis, director of economic research at the Gulf Rese..

Etsy cuts 15% of its workforce

Etsy cuts 15% of its workforce

Kickstarter CEO: Doing good is as important as making money
Etsy is acknowledging that it needs to be more “nimble.” On Wednesday, the company said it is cutting another 140 jobs, or 15% of its current workforce. That's in addition to trims it made in May, when it let go of another 90 people.
Etsy's business has been struggling. It reported $421,000 in losses during the first quarter of the year, down from more than $1 million the same quarter the year before.
Its CEO Chad Dickerson, who took the company public in 2015, resigned in May. Dickerson had led the company for six years. “The board decided that it was time for new leadership to take Etsy forward and I support that decision,” he said at the time.
Josh Silverman, a board director, took over his duties as CEO, while investor Fred Wilson took over as chair of the board.
The company has a unique spotlight on it. When it went public, it was the largest certified socially-responsible company, or B Corporation, to..

McDonald’s is hotter than an order of fries

McDonald’s is hotter than an order of fries

5 stunning stats about McDonald's
The beef isn't the only thing at McDonald's that is hot and fresh these days. So is Mickey D's stock. It hit a fresh all-time high Wednesday as investors continue to cheer the company's comeback under CEO Steve Easterbrook. Shares of McDonald's (MCD) are now up nearly 27% this year. That makes it the second-best performer in the Dow, trailing only Boeing (BA) and coming in a hair better than Apple (AAPL, Tech30).

3 things you need to know about your credit score

3 things you need to know about your credit score

This is why you need to check your credit history Your credit score. It's how most major financial life events begin. Whether you're looking to buy a house, lease a car, open a credit card — or even get cable or a cell phone — the powerful three-digit number determines the terms you'll get. Or if you'll get credit at all.

Japan Inc. bails out Toshiba by snapping up its $18B chip business

Japan Inc. bails out Toshiba by snapping up its $18B chip business

Toshiba: Fall of a Japanese icon
Toshiba plans to sell its prized memory chip business to a group of investors led by the Japanese government as it races to raise money to stave off financial ruin. The struggling Japanese conglomerate said Wednesday it has picked a bid worth about 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) from a consortium driven by the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), a state-backed fund.
Toshiba (TOSBF) is selling off its crown jewels in a frantic effort to recover from billions of dollars in losses stemming from the collapse of Westinghouse Electric, its now bankrupt U.S. nuclear unit.
The crisis at the storied Japanese company sparked alarm among government officials. More than 100,000 of Toshiba's roughly 190,000 employees are in Japan, where the company plays an important role in key industries like energy and transportation.
Related: Is Toshiba too big to fail?
The idea of the sensitive technology of Toshiba's memory chip business ending up..

How much investing risk should you take in retirement?

How much investing risk should you take in retirement?

The steady path to a dream retirement My feeling is that once you retire you should take only as much investing risk as necessary to get the income you need from your portfolio, even if your risk tolerance would allow you to shoot for higher returns. I don't see the point of investing for bigger gains at that point if you don't need them. Do you think this approach makes sense? –F.I. You raise an important question that all retirees should be thinking about as they're setting their investing strategy in retirement.

Oil prices enter bear market as supply glut fears return

Oil prices enter bear market as supply glut fears return

Saudi Arabia looks toward a post oil dependent future
Look out below! The massive supply glut is once again sending crude oil prices into a tailspin. Crude plunged into a bear market on Tuesday, sinking another 2.2% to settle at a nine-month low of $43.23 a barrel.

No holy guacamole: Chipotle sinks on weak outlook

No holy guacamole: Chipotle sinks on weak outlook

5 Stunning stats about Chipotle
Good news for Chipotle: Customers have come back following the chain's E.coli nightmare a few years ago. Bad news for Chipotle: Higher marketing costs and surging avocado prices may eat into its profits. Shares of Chipotle (CMG) tumbled 6% Tuesday — making it the worst performer in the S&P 500 — after it said in a regulatory filing that operating costs in the second quarter would be higher than originally expected and potentially up from the first quarter as well.

Solar energy is killing coal, despite Trump’s promises

Solar energy is killing coal, despite Trump’s promises

Here's what Trump has said about bringing back coal jobs
The rapidly falling cost of solar energy is going to make it difficult for President Trump to deliver on his promise to put coal miners back to work. Trump has taken steps to ease the burden on coal country by ripping up environmental rules and pledging to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.

I love my factory job, but I don’t want my kid to do it

I love my factory job, but I don’t want my kid to do it

Michigan workers hate NAFTA but love robots
For months, I have traveled the Rust Belt talking to factory workers. Over and over, in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Kentucky, men and women have told me two things:

The bull is back! Market near highs despite risks

The bull is back! Market near highs despite risks

Trump bump still won't slump
The stock market is like one of those Weebles toys I had as a kid in the 1970s. It wobbles. But it won't fall down. Remember how the James Comey scandal was supposed to end this epic bull run? Hasn't happened. In fact, the continued wackiness in Washington hasn't had much of an impact on Wall Street at all.

World gets first peek at Boeing ‘797’

World gets first peek at Boeing ‘797’

Boeing jets fly in unison
The world has been given a peek at Boeing's plans for a new small twin-aisle aircraft, unofficially dubbed the 797. Boeing (BA) released the first image of its new “middle-market airplane” at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday as a teaser for what will be the company's first new airliner since its 787 Dreamliner.

Big Oil wants to tax itself and give cash to Americans

Big Oil wants to tax itself and give cash to Americans

Bloomberg: Climate change threatens economies Here are two shockers: Big Oil wants to tax itself to fight climate change. And it wants the proceeds to go to American families. Major oil companies including ExxonMobil (XOM), BP (BP), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) and Total (TOT) backed a carbon tax proposal on Tuesday that has been gaining traction in Washington.
Other big-name backers include billionaire former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, physicist Stephen Hawking and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.
The plan has found support after President Trump announced that he would exit the Paris climate accord, isolating the U.S. from global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and limit rising temperatures.
The Climate Leadership Council, which helped assemble the unusual coalition, ran an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that described the proposal as “pro-environment, pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-competitiveness, pro-business and pro-national security.”..

Here’s a new reason to work fewer hours

Here’s a new reason to work fewer hours

Asking for a raise: Women vs. men Gone are the days of strolling into work at 9 a.m. sharp and clocking out precisely eight hours later. American workers are putting in more time on the job than ever before. In a 2014 Gallup poll, 40% of U.S. employees said they work more than 50 hours each week, while 20% put in more than 60 hours.

Barclays and former CEO charged with fraud over 2008 rescue by Qatar

Barclays and former CEO charged with fraud over 2008 rescue by Qatar

Banks fined billions over forex rigging
British prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Barclays and four former bank executives over cash injections from Qatar that helped save the bank during the global financial crisis. The bank and its former executives have been charged by the U.K.'s Serious Fraud Office with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation over a June 2008 investment made by Qatar's sovereign wealth fund.

Americans are saving (a little) more

Americans are saving (a little) more

Americans pocket extra gas money Americans are notoriously terrible savers. But the good news is, they're getting better. The percentage of people who have adequate savings to cover six months of expenses — a six-month-stash — has jumped to 31%, according to a new study from Bankrate.com. That's up from 28% last year and 22% in 2015.

Could there be a bidding war for Whole Foods?

Could there be a bidding war for Whole Foods?

Why Amazon is buying Whole Foods
Whole Foods will eventually be part of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's empire. Or will it? Some Wall Street analysts are starting to wonder whether another retailer will come up with a higher offer and start a bidding war.

So long, Yahoo. Hello … Altaba?

So long, Yahoo. Hello … Altaba?

Timeline: The rise and fall of Yahoo
What on earth is Altaba? This odd-sounding moniker (AltabaVista? Jessica Altaba?) is the new name for what's left of Yahoo.

Blue Apron says it could be worth $3 billion

Blue Apron says it could be worth $3 billion

Will Blue Apron kill the grocery store?
Blue Apron is expecting a big delivery of greens. The meal-kit company said in a regulatory filing Monday that it could be worth $3 billion when its stock starts trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Elizabeth Warren wants the Wells Fargo board wiped out

Elizabeth Warren wants the Wells Fargo board wiped out

Warren Buffett: The three mistakes Wells Fargo made
Elizabeth Warren is so livid with Wells Fargo that she's demanding the government take the dramatic step of throwing out most of the board of directors. The Democratic senator fired off a letter Monday demanding that the Federal Reserve “remove” the 12 Wells Fargo directors who served between May 2011 and July 2015. That's when Wells Fargo has acknowledged firing 5,300 workers for creating 2 million fake accounts.

Beware deferred interest credit cards — they’re not 0% interest

Beware deferred interest credit cards — they’re not 0% interest

5 stunning stats about credit cards How well can you size-up a credit card promotion? It's hard to keep a cool head in the heat of the retail moment. You're about to make a big purchase and the clerk is waving a store credit card offer before you.

39 million households are paying more for housing than they can afford

39 million households are paying more for housing than they can afford

Virtual reality is the new open house Rising housing costs are putting a major squeeze on Americans. Nearly 39 million households can't afford their housing, according to the annual State of the Nation's Housing Report from Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Are public pensions a thing of the past for young workers?

Are public pensions a thing of the past for young workers?

The steady path to a dream retirement New teachers and state workers will no longer get a traditional pension in Pennsylvania. Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill Monday, making it the ninth stateto replace the pension with a “hybrid” retirement plan. It goes into effect in 2019.

A good way to boost retirement income

A good way to boost retirement income

The steady path to a dream retirement Is an annuity is a good way for seniors to increase their income in retirement?–S.N. The short answer is yes, an annuity can be a good way to safely get more income out of your retirement nest egg. But that doesn't necessarily mean you should own one.

‘Soup Nazi’ company files for bankruptcy

‘Soup Nazi’ company files for bankruptcy

Seinfeld: Trump is like a kid running for President
Not even the Soup Nazi can escape the tax man. Soupman, made famous by a beloved Seinfeld episode, filed for bankruptcy this week.

Where did a chunk of my paycheck go?

Where did a chunk of my paycheck go?

Here's why we get overtime pay Do you know why money gets taken out of your paycheck? If you don't, you're not alone. Nearly 64 million people are perplexed by their pay stubs, including half of younger workers, according to a recent study from Kronos Incorporated.

Where should I stash my down payment savings?

Where should I stash my down payment savings?

How to save for a down payment Me and my husband will start looking into buying a home in March 2018. In the interim is there any investment advice for money that has been saved so far a for down payment? –Name withheld Saving for a down payment can be a big undertaking and a major hurdle to buying a home.

Are these budget busters derailing your spending plan?

Are these budget busters derailing your spending plan?

Money guide for Millennials An unexpected bill or periodic expense can wreck your budget, but it doesn't have to. There are two things in particular that people can do to prepare ahead of time for an unanticipated financial emergency. Unexpected expenses

How to find (and snag) a hidden job

How to find (and snag) a hidden job

Asking for a raise: Women vs. men When you're looking for a job — obsessively scanning job boards, sending out applications — and not hearing anything back, it can begin to feel like you're all alone. But a job coach says the reason you're not getting a response may be because your job search is too crowded.

Thinking of buying a house? Here’s where to start

Thinking of buying a house? Here’s where to start

Virtual reality is the new open house So you're ready to take the leap from renter to homeowner — but where exactly do you start? Many first-time homebuyers across the country are facing brutally competitive markets that favor sellers. That means buyers need to bring their A game to snag a pad of their own. Especially if you're a newbie.

She’s on a mission to make America’s colleges ‘hunger free’

She’s on a mission to make America’s colleges ‘hunger free’

OSU president: Why we're recruiting lower income students In 2009, UCLA freshman Rachel Sumekh was angry. Los Angeles' homeless and even some students on her own campus were going hungry. Meanwhile, students like Sumekh were paying hundreds, if not thousands of dollars each year for their campus meal plans, and unused meals would go to waste at the end of the semester.

Homebuying secrets from the real estate battlefield

In the middle of your house hunt and feeling a bit overwhelmed? We talked to recent home buyers to get their tips for navigating the market.

5 steps to retire debt-free

5 steps to retire debt-free

The steady path to a dream retirement America is a nation of borrowers, and while racking up debt can be dangerous at any age, it's especially hazardous for those heading into retirement. Because most seniors are behind on savings to begin with, carrying debt into retirement will only strain their already limited budget. Yet a growing number of households are kicking off their golden years with piles of debt — in fact, 20% of borrowers actually expect to die in debt.

How should I save for my kid’s college education?

How should I save for my kid’s college education?

How to talk to your kid about paying for college I am 29 years old and a single mother to a four-year-old.I contribute 6% to my 401(k) with a company match. I looked at several websites and they all state I'm on track for my retirement. My question is, should I put some extra money in a Roth IRA or fund a 529 plan for my daughter? –Kelly If Kelly is truly on track saving for retirement, experts say she should open a 529 plan instead of a Roth IRA to start her daughter's college fund.

How much life insurance do you need (if any)?

How much life insurance do you need (if any)?

How to choose a life insurance policy Before we deal with the downer of your death, let's talk about your life. Does anyone depend on you? Like, financially, depend on you?

3 million first-time homebuyers have been shut out of the market

3 million first-time homebuyers have been shut out of the market

Virtual reality is the new open house The housing crash left a gaping hole inthe real estate market. In the past 10 years, three million would-be first-time buyers have been shut out of buying a home.

This city will help workers pay off their student loans

This city will help workers pay off their student loans

Five student debt pitfalls Paid time off, health care, a 401(k) and … student loan repayment? Be sure to ask about this benefit the next time you look for a new job. A small but growing number of private employers are offering their workers extra cash to go toward paying down their student debt.

Ready, set, go: Retirement advice protections are here

Ready, set, go: Retirement advice protections are here

A pair of elderly couples view the ocean and waves along the beach in La Jolla, California March 8, 2012.

REUTERS/Mike Blake

By Mark Miller
| CHICAGO

CHICAGO Friday is the day, folks.
Starting on June 9, all financial advisers providing guidance on retirement accounts must adhere to the new U.S. Department of Labor rule requiring that they act in your best interest rather than their own.
The controversial rule survived a bruising seven-year battle against entrenched interests in the financial services industry, which were seeking to protect excess fees that cost retirement savers $17 billion a year – a full percentage point in annual returns, according to U.S. government estimates during the Obama administration.
Most recently, the rule survived a 60-day delay by the new administration under President Donald Trump, which has considered repealing or revising it.
The Trump administration may yet try to weaken or undo parts of the so-called fiduciary standard, and several impo..

Goldman Sachs boost rates for savers in bid to attract deposits

Goldman Sachs boost rates for savers in bid to attract deposits

By Olivia Oran

U.S. savers who routinely scour personal finance sites for the best deposit rates are soon going to see an unusual bank at the top of the list: Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
The Wall Street bank's consumer arm, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, plans on Wednesday to raise the rate it offers customers on deposits to 1.2 percent, slightly higher than rivals Synchrony Bank, CIT Bank and New York Community Bank's My Banking Direct.
Goldman had previously offered savers 1.05 percent. The average national rate for savings accounts is currently 0.06 percent, according to the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The move makes Goldman the highest interest paying bank, according to personal finance website Bankrate.com. The firm is aggressively trying to boost its deposit base and attract Main Street clients.
Goldman's online deposits from individuals total $12 billion, a small but growing fraction of the $128 billion in overall deposits on the firm's overall bala..

CalSTRS agrees to divest non-U.S. thermal coal assets

By Robin Respaut

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System board voted unanimously on Wednesday to divest from non-U.S. thermal coal, affecting a very small fraction of the public pension fund's portfolio.
The fund estimates that $8.3 million of its roughly $206.5 billion portfolio is exposed to non-U.S. thermal coal.

The exposure is invested in three companies – PT Adaro Energy in Indonesia, Exxaro Resources Limited of South Africa, and Whitehaven Coal Limited of Australia.
“This is a serious decision,” said California State Controller Betty Yee, who is a member of the CalSTRS board. But Yee noted that engagement with corporations is much harder when the companies are headquartered abroad, so CalSTRS engagement with non-U.S. thermal coal companies would be less likely.

Board member Tom Unterman said the vote to divest did not impact the fund in any way.

CalSTRS, the nation's second largest public pension fund, manages the retirement benefits of 914,000 Califo..

Nice portfolio, shame about the human running it: James Saft

By James Saft

The problem with Modern Portfolio Theory, the basis for most diversified investment approaches, is that the often irrational human investor in charge is a major point of failure.
In other words, nice theory but shame about the monkey who is running it.
Modern Portfolio Theory, originated by Harry Markowitz in 1952, is the idea that portfolios, by diversifying, can maximize returns for a given level of risk, or volatility. This allows investors to get a higher return than they otherwise would since the assets blended together will give a smoother ride, achieving what is often called 'the only free lunch in investing'. Since different assets perform differently in various circumstances – i.e. are not perfectly correlated – mixing them together improves results.
The problem isn’t with the theory, which won Markowitz the Nobel prize in 1960, but, according to money managers at Newfound Investment Research, with the way it fails to take into account the impact that ..

Citadel’s Griffin says U.S. rally not over, inflation a worry: CNBC

Citadel’s Griffin says U.S. rally not over, inflation a worry: CNBC

Ken Griffin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Citadel, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 1, 2017.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

NEW YORK Ken Griffin, founder and chief executive of hedge fund firm Citadel LLC, said on Wednesday that the run-up in the U.S. stock market was not over but that investors should be worried about rising inflation.
“I think this business cycle has further to go. I think the stock market is going to go with that, but what’s worrisome is, the firepower that we have to address the next downturn is somewhat constrained,” Griffin told cable television network CNBC.
Griffin, who is also the founder of market-maker Citadel Securities, said he was particularly concerned given the high degree of easy monetary policy.

“If we look at history, we’re not yet at the end of this business cycle. What’s somewhat disturbing, though, is … we’re getting closer to that moment in time with yet an enormous amount..

Fed gives extension on complying with part of Volcker rule to three banks

Fed gives extension on complying with part of Volcker rule to three banks

Flags fly over the Federal Reserve Headquarters on a windy day in Washington, U.S., May 26, 2017.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday gave extensions of up to five years to Deutsche Bank, SVB Financial Group, and UBS Group on complying with part of the Volcker Rule that deals with illiquid funds.

The central bank said the three need more time to divest legacy illiquid funds in order to comply with the rule's limits on their stakes in private equity and hedge funds.

The rule, part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, limits the types of trading banks can conduct with their own money, as a way to curb speculation in financial institutions. But the financial services industry has said regulators have carried out the rule in a confusing and often convoluted way and are pressing the administration of President Donald Trump to make compliance easier and clearer.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; editing by Diane Craft)

The multi-millionaire founder of MySpace retired before he was 40 to travel the world — here are some of his most stunning photos

The multi-millionaire founder of MySpace retired before he was 40 to travel the world — here are some of his most stunning photos

Tom Anderson tells young people who want to travel, “Do it now! Don't wait.”Courtesy of Tom AndersonIf you were a teenager with a computer in the early aughts, there's a good chance you had a profile on MySpace, the music-centered predecessor to Facebook.
Nearly 76 million people used the social networking site in the US at the height of its popularity in 2008, and they all had one thing in common: first “friend” Tom Anderson.
Anderson cofounded MySpace in August 2003 at just 32 years old, serving as the company's president. His now-iconic profile would default to every new user's friend list; his persona and the company became ubiquitous.
In 2005, News Corp. bought MySpace — then the largest social network in the world — and its parent company, Intermix, for $580 million. Anderson retired as a multi-millionaire in 2009, leaving MySpace behind to explore a passion for architecture and design.
“When I left the work world, I started designing my dream house,” he r..

Fuss says Loomis Sayles Bond Fund has high exposure to short-term reserves

By Jennifer Ablan
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK Loomis Sayles Vice Chairman Dan Fuss said his popular Loomis Sayles Bond Fund (LSBDX), which has outperformed 92 percent of its peer category over the last 15 years, has amassed one of its highest exposures to short-term reserves, which include U.S. and Canadian government bonds, as the rate-hiking cycle continues.
“I am the most cautious I’ve been in the history of the bond fund,” which was launched in 1991, Fuss said on Wednesday. “I am cautious about interest rates rising,” added Fuss, who is known as the Warren Buffett of bonds.

Investors see a high likelihood of a rate hike when the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee meets June 13-14.

Fuss said the average maturity holdings of the fund of 6.5 years, down from 13 years, is taking a “very defensive” approach to investing, given the trajectory of higher interest rates.

(Reporting by Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Chizu Nomiyama)

Citadel’s Griffin worried about next U.S. market downturn: CNBC

Citadel’s Griffin worried about next U.S. market downturn: CNBC

Ken Griffin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Citadel, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 1, 2017.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

NEW YORK Ken Griffin, founder and chief executive of hedge fund firm Citadel LLC, said Wednesday that the run-up in the U.S. stock market was not over, but that he was concerned about the ability to address the next downturn.

“I think this business cycle has further to go. I think the stock market is going to go with that, but what’s worrisome is: the firepower that we have to address the next downturn is somewhat constrained,” Griffin told cable television network CNBC.

(Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Why women are better investors: study

Why women are better investors: study

A woman walks on Broad St. past the New York Stock Exchange during the morning commute April 30, 2014.

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Chris Taylor
| NEW YORK

NEW YORKWhen it comes to industries, Wall Street is about as male-dominated as they come. So many people just assume that men are better investors.
And they would be wrong.
According to new data from financial services giant Fidelity Investments, women are actually superior investors. In sifting through more than 8 million investment accounts, Fidelity discovered that women not only save more than men, 0.4 percent, their investments earn more annually, also 0.4 percent.
“It is a double whammy,” says Alexandra Taussig, Fidelity's senior vice president for women investors. “The myth that men are better investors is just that – a myth.”

Those differences may seem slight at first. But extrapolated over a lifetime of saving and investing, the disparity at retirement age is anything but minor. For a 22-year-old starting ou..

How much money do you really need in your savings account

How much money do you really need in your savings account

Money guide for Millennials Bank savings accounts don't exactly earn you a huge return these days: in fact, most big banks are offering a fraction of a percent in interest on their savings accounts. However, savings accounts do serve an important purpose as a safety net. Should you run into some sort of crisis (losing your job, injuring yourself seriously and expensively, suffering a car breakdown, or so on) a well-funded savings account can get you through it while avoiding the drawbacks of going into debt. But how do you qualify “well-funded” in terms of a saving account? Saving the bare minimum

Hedge fund managers can show off with better returns in May

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

(This June 2 story corrects firm's name to Foglamp Capital Partners from Foglight Capital in paragraph 8)
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
BOSTON Some hedge fund managers can finally brag a little as several prominent ones, including Daniel Loeb and William Ackman, last month beat the broader stock market's gains, early returns show.
Loeb, who runs $16 billion Third Point, told investors his Third Point Partners LP fund gained 2.1 percent in May while its more aggressive Third Point Ultra Ltd fund climbed 3.5 percent. The Pershing Square Holdings Ltd fund, run by Ackman's $11 billion Pershing Square Capital Management, meanwhile climbed 2.4 percent in May.

Both beat the average hedge fund's 0.24 percent gain in May plus the broader Standard & Poor 500 stock market index's 1.4 percent gain.
Third Point Ultra is up 16.1 percent in the first five months of 2017 and Partners is up 9.9 percent. Ackman's fund is up 4.3 percent, after two years o..

‘I don’t need rocket scientists’: A self-made billionaire describes the ideal employee

‘I don’t need rocket scientists’: A self-made billionaire describes the ideal employee

You don't have to be a genius to work for Sam Zell.
In his book “Am I Being Too Subtle? Straight Talk From a Business Rebel,” Zell writes that he's not necessarily looking for the smartest people to work at Equity Group Investments — there are other characteristics that are more important.
“There's a baseline IQ level needed to work at my firm, but I don't need rocket scientists,” he writes. “After that, what best predicts your success in my world is drive, energy, attitude, judgment, conviction, and passion. And an ability to cut to the center of an issue. I'd trade another twenty IQ points for those qualities any day.”
In fact, he writes, “I've had a number of brilliant people working for me who didn't make it because they couldn't grasp how to think about a deal.”
Zell expects his team to be willing to speak up. “I empower people. I love self-starters. I want people taking the initiative, pushing the edge, questioning, challenging,” he wri..

After nearly 10 years as a financial planner, the first 2 questions I ask every client have nothing to do with money

After nearly 10 years as a financial planner, the first 2 questions I ask every client have nothing to do with money

When I start working with a new client, I need to know everything — and I mean everything — about their finances. From monthly expenses to account balances to credit card interest rates, no detail is too small.
But before we get into the financial minutiae, I ask two questions that have nothing to do with money, yet tell me more than a pile of bank statements ever could.
1. What is your favorite Starbucks drink order? In many ways this is a simple question. I've learned over time that caffeine comes in handy when talking about personal finances. Without it, the risk of glazed-over-eyes syndrome increases significantly, especially during the first meeting. So, I always come prepared with the client's beverage of choice.
But, truth be told, I have an ulterior motive for asking this question. What you buy at Starbucks reveals something to me about how you spend your money.
In my experience, if you prefer a basic drink like a venti black coffee or a tall cappuccino, you&#03..

Ex-State Street executive to plead guilty in U.S. to fraud scheme

By Nate Raymond
| BOSTON

BOSTON A former State Street Corp executive has agreed to plead guilty in connection with a scheme to defraud six clients through secret commissions on billions of dollars of trades, according to court papers filed on Tuesday.
Edward Pennings, a former senior managing director in State Street's London office, has agreed to plead guilty to one court of conspiring to commit wire fraud and securities fraud, according to a plea agreement filed in federal court in Boston.
In addition, Richard Boomgaardt, who was head of State Street's transition management desk for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, was charged with one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud and securities fraud.
Boomgaardt, who lives in the United Kingdom, was charged by “information,” a type of document that prosecutors usually use in connection with defendants who intend to plead guilty. It was unclear if he had reached a plea deal.
No plea hearing has been scheduled yet for Penni..

THE PAYMENTS INDUSTRY EXPLAINED: The Trends Creating New Winners And Losers In The Card-Processing Ecosystem

THE PAYMENTS INDUSTRY EXPLAINED: The Trends Creating New Winners And Losers In The Card-Processing Ecosystem

The way we pay is changing dramatically. For example, people are beginning to use their smartphones for every kind of formal and informal transaction — to shop at stores, buy songs online, and even split their rent.
At the heart of these changes in how we pay are thousands of companies competing and collaborating to facilitate transactions.
To understand why the payments industry has faced so much disruption in such a short time, there's just one key thing to understand: Payments is about transferring information from one party to another, and nearly every stakeholder in the industry benefits when that process runs on digital rails.
But payments is also an extremely complex industry that few fully understand.
In BI Intelligence's 2016 Payments Ecosystem report, we make it simple, explaining how it works, who the key players are, and where it's headed.
In this latest edition of the report, BI Intelligence drills even further into the industry to explain how a broad r..

‘If you are human,’ you should be investing your money, financial editor of NBC’s ‘Today’ show says

‘If you are human,’ you should be investing your money, financial editor of NBC’s ‘Today’ show says

If you're not investing your money because you're no stock-picking genius and you don't earn a six-figure paycheck, guess what? Neither of those is a requirement to become a successful investor.
“If you are human, you are a good candidate to be investing your money,” Jean Chatzky, the financial editor of NBC's “Today” show who is also a senior editor at The Balance, told Business Insider in a Facebook Live interview.
“We all need to invest because there is no other way to keep up with taxes and inflation,” said Chatzky, the author of several books, including most recently “Age Proof.”
Putting money in your bank's traditional savings account may be your go-to saving strategy, Chatzky says, but you're actually losing money this way because interest rates on those accounts are “so minuscule.”
“You're losing purchasing power after every single dollar, every single year,” she said. “That's not going to get you to retirement, particularly if inflat..

Jackson National to replace Pimco Total Return with DoubleLine Core

By Jennifer Ablan
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK Jackson National, the largest U.S. provider of variable annuities, said in a filing on Tuesday it plans to remove Pimco's Total Return Bond investment strategy from Jackson National's product line-up and assign management of the $3.5 billion in that fund offering to Jeffrey Gundlach's DoubleLine Capital.
The move would end Jackson National's nearly two decades of using Pimco's flagship Total Return investment strategy, although Jackson still offers the JNL/Pimco Income Fund and the JNL/Pimco Real Return Fund. The Jackson National introduced the JNL/Pimco Total Return Bond as a sub-account option in its variable annuity product line in 1998. The investment option is to be renamed the JNL/DoubleLine Core Fixed Income.
The $3.5 billion mandate would considerably increase assets in portfolios run under DoubleLine's core-related fixed-income strategies. Core-type assets totaled $12 billion of $105 billion in assets unde..

Foreign investors to pour nearly $1 trillion into emerging markets in 2017: IIF

Foreign investors to pour nearly $1 trillion into emerging markets in 2017: IIF

An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Nanjing, China May 24, 2017.

REUTERS/Stringer

By Dion Rabouin
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK Non-resident capital inflows to emerging markets should reach $970 billion this year, a 35 percent increase from 2016, the Institute of International Finance said in a report released on Tuesday.
The projection follows a strong first quarter for emerging market investment that saw the strongest portfolio inflows since 2014. The IIF's projection is $290 billion higher than its estimate just four months ago, shortly after Donald Trump took office as U.S. president and the organization listed possible American protectionism as its top threat to emerging market portfolio flow growth.
The risk of trade friction between the U.S. and Mexico and China, has waned significantly, said Hung Tran, IIF's executive managing director, as has the risk of the U.S. Federal Reserve quickly tightening monetary policy..

10 US cities where everyone wants to live right now

10 US cities where everyone wants to live right now

Austin isn't the only city tons of people want to live.ShutterstockAustin is so hot right now — and no, we're not talking about the rising temperatures.
According to new data compiled by realtor.com, the Texas capital is seeing an influx of newcomers from other cities, and the population is booming, making it the No. 1 most popular place to live in the US right now.
If you've been keeping an eye on a number of other top cities lists, it should come as no surprise that so many people want to move to Austin — the city ranks No. 3 on the best cities for new grads to start their career list, and No. 1 on US News' overall best places in America to live list.
As Business Insider previously reported, the city that wants to “keep it weird” is beloved for its live music scene and is host to some of the country's biggest music and culture festivals, including South by Southwest and Austin City Limits. The city was also nicknamed “Silicon Hills” in the 90s for its sta..

Jean Case’s journey from needing charity to giving it

Jean Case’s journey from needing charity to giving it

Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation and Chair of the National Geographic Society, is seen in this undated handout photo. Courtesy of the Case Foundation/Handout via

REUTERS

By Chris Taylor
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK There are some prominent power couples in the world of philanthropy, but Steve and Jean Case might be among the most influential of all.
Steve, the famed founder of AOL, and Jean, CEO of the Case Foundation and Chair of the National Geographic Society, have been transforming the twin worlds of technology and giving for decades.
For the latest in Reuters' “Life Lessons” series, Jean Case spoke with Reuters on the 20th anniversary of her foundation's inception to discuss what life's thrill ride has taught her so far, and what challenges still lie ahead.
Q: Just how extraordinarily normal were your beginnings?
A: It was so normal that I actually grew up in a place called Normal, Illinois.
I was raised by a single mom, and was pretty close to my German immi..

The 10 most expensive beach towns in the US — where you have to be a millionaire to buy a home

The 10 most expensive beach towns in the US — where you have to be a millionaire to buy a home

If you want to live in these towns, better start saving up.Shutterstock/Lucky-photographerBeach season is upon us. If you're in the market for an affordable summer home within spitting distance of the ocean spray, there are some under-the-radar places across the US where you can nab a beach house for less than $250,000.
In other places, you'd better be a millionaire or billionaire if you want to get a showing.
In ritzy summer vacation spots like the Hamptons, Malibu, or Nantucket, for instance, the median price for property currently exceeds $3 million, according to a report from Realtor.com.
Realtor.com dug through its database to find the most expensive beachfront locales in America. It limited its scope to beach cities with populations between 1,000 to 100,000 and that had at least 30 properties on the market. And to ensure some geographic diversity, Realtor.com capped its list to two towns per state separated by at least 30 miles.
In Malibu, the most expensive beac..

Researchers say the snowball method is the best way to pay off debt — here’s a simple spreadsheet that can make it work for you

Researchers say the snowball method is the best way to pay off debt — here’s a simple spreadsheet that can make it work for you

If you're struggling to pay off debt, you're not alone. The average household with credit card debt owes $16,061, according to a recent report by NerdWallet.
And while there are many strategies to eliminate debt for good, one method proves most effective: Prioritizing accounts with smaller balances, rather than those with higher interest rates, also known as the snowball plan.
That's according to new research from the Harvard Business Review. After conducting a series of experiments in which participants simulated paying back virtual 'debts,' researchers concluded that the factor that made the biggest impact on how hard participants worked wasn't the amount they were paying back or how much was left in the account afterward, it was the percentage of the balance they ended up getting rid of.
Although it makes more sense mathematically to pay down accounts that carry the highest interest rates first, they found that it was more motivating for participants..

An Ivy League professor who spent 4 months working in a South Bronx check-cashing store says we’re getting it all wrong

An Ivy League professor who spent 4 months working in a South Bronx check-cashing store says we’re getting it all wrong

• University of Pennsylvania professor Lisa Servon went to work as a teller at a check-cashing store to find out why customers use the service.
• Prevailing wisdom holds that customers would be better served by using a bank. But Servon found that check cashers were frequently cheaper and served customers' needs better than banks.
• Three common reasons customers cited for using a check casher over a bank were cost, transparency, and service.
Lisa Servon couldn't kick the nagging feeling that the financial elite had it all wrong.
The prevailing wisdom from bankers and policy makers went like this: People who used alternative financial services — like check cashers and payday lenders — were making expensive and unwise decisions. If we could just educate the “unbanked” and “underbanked” and usher them into the modern financial system with a bank account, their fortunes would surely improve.
But Servon, a professor of city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylva..

A daily cup of coffee ends up costing a lot more than you think

A daily cup of coffee ends up costing a lot more than you think

As a young man, Warren Buffett estimated he could save $300,000 over his lifetime by adjusting his haircut schedule.
Americans looking for ways to contribute to retirement funds can similarly look to their daily purchases — such as their morning cup of coffee — for potential savings, according to a Vanguard Blog for Advisors post by Frank Kinniry.
“By pocketing the $3.50 for coffee each day and investing it instead in a low-cost, diversified Roth IRA, you’d have an estimated $106,000 after 30 years,” writes Kinniry. “I don’t think anyone would pay $106,000 for coffee!”

This type of incremental savings plan is also endorsed by David Bach, author of “Smart Couples Finish Rich.”
“Becoming rich is nothing more than a matter of committing and sticking to a systematic savings and investment plan,” he writes. “You don't need to have money to make money. You just need to make the right decisions — and act on them.”
Bach estimates the amount of daily savings needed to reach $1 millio..

Four ways retirement saving is about to change

Four ways retirement saving is about to change

Retirees play poker at a singles club in Sun City, Arizona, January 4, 2013.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

By Beth Pinsker
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK Leaving your job soon and rolling over a 401(k) into an IRA? Thinking about buying an annuity? About to call your money manager and allocate this year's Roth contribution?
All of these transactions and more may be different next week, after new guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor is implemented.
The so-called “fiduciary rule,” which starts on June 9, was a political football during the Obama administration and seemed doomed after President Donald Trump took office. But once set in motion, the regulation was hard to unravel, says Jamie Hopkins, Retirement Income Program co-director at the American College of Financial Services.
Starting now and rolling out in a graduated process through Jan. 1, 2018, new rules will govern how investment professionals can dole out advice involving a slew of retirement funds, including IRAs, Roths,..

GM shareholders to decide on Greenlight stock plan, board challenge

GM shareholders to decide on Greenlight stock plan, board challenge

The GM logo is seen at the General Motors Assembly Plant in Valencia, Venezuela April 21, 2017.

REUTERS/Marco Bello

By Michael Flaherty

Greenlight Capital's plan to split up General Motors Co's (GM.N) stock, as well as its challenge to the company's board of directors, will come to a head on Tuesday, as the U.S. automaker's shareholders cast their votes on the hedge fund's proposals.
Greenlight's proxy contest comes during a major overhaul at GM as Chief Executive Mary Barra seeks to jolt the company's lagging stock price and sales by slashing costs and refocusing on the most profitable markets.
In the latest sign of the challenges facing major auto makers, rival Ford Motor Co (F.N) last month replaced CEO Mark Fields with Jim Hackett, a reformist executive who had run one of its divisions, following a decline in the company's North American profits and share price.
At GM's annual shareholder meeting, shareholders will vote on Greenl..

Hedge fund Marcato Capital Management posts gains in May

BOSTON Activist hedge fund Marcato Capital Management, which has been battling restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings for board seats, reported strong gains in May, which extended its gains for the year.

The firm's flagship fund gained 1.6 percent in May and is up 7.7 percent for the year, while its smaller Encore fund surged 7.5 percent last month to be up 16 percent in the first five months of 2017, an investor in the fund said. The gains came even as Buffalo Wild Wings' stock price dropped in May.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss)

Minerd’s Guggenheim attracts broad fixed-income inflows in May

Minerd’s Guggenheim attracts broad fixed-income inflows in May

File photo: Scott Minerd speaks at the 2014 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California April 28, 2014.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

By Jennifer Ablan
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK Guggenheim Investments, overseen by high-profile bond investor Scott Minerd, posted net inflows totaling more than $1.1 billion into its fixed-income mutual funds and ETFs in May, the firm said on Thursday.
Guggenheim's flagship Total Return Bond Fund, an intermediate-term fund that has outperformed 98 percent of its rivals over one, three, and five years, according to Morningstar Inc, took in $527 million in May, the firm said.
The $6.7 billion Total Return fund has experienced net inflows for 41 consecutive months, Guggenheim added.
Minerd said the firm has become selective at buying credits, given the huge run-up in various asset classes and fears that Washington will not enact market-boosting policies.

“The ongoing struggle to draft a viable healthcare bill, the haste with which the ..

Hedge fund Jana Partners says down in May, up 4.6 percent in 2017

BOSTON Activist hedge fund Jana Partners, which is currently pushing grocer Whole Foods Markets Inc to perform better, lost money in May but is still in the black for the year, according to an investor update.

The firm's Jana Partners fund was off 0.7 percent in May and is up 4.6 percent for the year while the Jana Nirvana fund lost 1 percent in May but is up 6.9 percent in the first five months of 2017.

Jana is Whole Foods' second largest investor and has been pushing the company to add directors with experience in retail operations, technology, finance and real estate.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Andrew Hay)

Adams Street hires Martin vom Hagen to lead new Munich office

Investment firm Adams Street Partners said on Thursday it hired industry veteran Martin vom Hagen to head its newly established office in Munich, Germany.

Hagen joins as a Partner and will focus on the development of institutional client and consultant relationships in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

(Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

Some U.S. bond investors stick to energy bets, say rally has legs

By Sam Forgione
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK Several large investment firms are betting on U.S. energy bonds on the view that they have more room to run even after a sharp rebound in performance in 2016.
Managers at Western Asset Management Co., Putnam Investments and Voya Investment Management said they were bullish on pipeline companies, with Western Asset and Voya favoring the sector above all other energy categories, while Putnam said it favored exploration and production (E&P) credits followed by pipeline companies.
U.S. energy production and exports have surged as oil prices rebounded from lows of $26 a barrel reached in 2016 and after Washington lifted a ban on U.S. crude exports. Overall, the United States has averaged exports of 5.7 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products over the past four weeks, up 42.5 percent from a year ago.
Anil Katarya, co-head of investment-grade credit at Voya, said energy issuers would benefit as U.S. President Donald Trump follows through on..

Column: Watchdogs step up U.S. fight against elder financial fraud

Column: Watchdogs step up U.S. fight against elder financial fraud

A pair of elderly couples view the ocean and waves along the beach in La Jolla, California March 8, 2012.

REUTERS/Mike Blake

By Mark Miller
| CHICAGO

CHICAGO Thieves follow the money, and wealth accumulates as we age. But the aging brain is not always well-suited to financial decision-making – and that creates opportunity for financial fraud and abuse targeting the elderly.
“It’s a perfect storm,” said Elizabeth Loewy, general counsel for Eversafe, a technology firm that monitors customers’ bank and investment accounts, credit cards and credit reports for potential fraud and abuse.
Loewy has been in the frontlines of the fight against elder financial fraud and abuse for a long time. She pioneered prosecution of these cases during 29 years as an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.
“When the office got started prosecuting elder abuse, we thought most of the cases would be physical abuse or domestic violence, but we quickly saw that it u..

First jobs of Madison Avenue’s ad wizards

First jobs of Madison Avenue’s ad wizards

Michael Roth, CEO of Interpublic, speaks during an interview with Reuters at the Cannes Lions 2010 International Advertising Festival in Cannes, June 23, 2010.

REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier

By Chris Taylor
| NEW YORK

NEW YORKThanks to TV shows like “Mad Men,” the advertising world seems to many to be impossibly stylish and full of intrigue.
The real-life starts of the nation's ad giants? Not so glamorous. For the latest in Reuters' “First Jobs” series, we talked to a few top ad execs about the gigs that got them started.
Michael Roth
Chairman and CEO, Interpublic
First job: Hat seller
This was back in college, and the family of one of my fraternity brothers owned a hat company. At the time, the New York World's Fair was taking place, so I worked at the fair selling hats. This would have been in 1964 – my God I'm old.
In essence I was a barker, standing out there trying to get people's attention. My favorite phrases were 'Lids for the Kids!' and &..

Wells Fargo’s head of wealth and investment management to retire

Wells Fargo’s head of wealth and investment management to retire

FILE PHOTO: David Carroll, senior executive vice president at Wells Fargo speaks during the Charlotte Chamber's Economic Outlook Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina December 17, 2012.

REUTERS/Chris Keane

Wells Fargo & Co said on Thursday David Carroll, head of wealth and investment management, would retire effective July 1 after nearly 38 years with the company.

Carroll, who will be succeeded by current head of Wells Fargo Securities Jonathan Weiss, will remain with the company until July 31 to ensure a smooth transition.

(Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

Third Point hedge funds gain in May: investor update

Third Point hedge funds gain in May: investor update

Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb speaks during a Reuters Newsmaker event in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 21, 2016.

REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

BOSTON Billionaire investor Daniel Loeb's hedge funds continued to make money in May, leaving its Third Point Partners L.P. fund up 9.9 percent for the year and its Third Point Ultra Ltd. up 16.1 percent, according to an investor update.

In May the Partners fund gained 2.1 percent while the more aggressive Ultra fund gained 3.5 percent. Third Point manages $16 billion in assets.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; editing by Scott Malone)

Q&A: Cyclical stocks set to boost Wall Street rally: Richard Bernstein

Q&A: Cyclical stocks set to boost Wall Street rally: Richard Bernstein

FILE PHOTO: A street sign for Wall Street is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 28, 2016.

REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

By Michael Connor
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK Wall Street's rally is not nearly done, with cyclical stocks set to ride higher even as hopes dim that America's government can deliver business-friendly economic reforms, U.S. money manager Richard Bernstein said on Wednesday.
CEO of RBAdvisors, and a former chief investment strategist at Merrill Lynch, Bernstein focuses on company profits at the sector level and said in the Reuters Global Markets Forum he sees no signs a rally that began last year in U.S. stocks is sputtering.
Investors now steering money to other areas are ignoring the bright prospects for U.S. corporate profits, which Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S has as up 15.4 percent in the first quarter from early 2016.
The following are edited excerpts from GMF:
Question: The S&P 500 is up 300 points from Nove..

New York City suspends municipal business with Wells Fargo

New York City suspends municipal business with Wells Fargo

A Wells Fargo Bank is shown in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., September 26, 2016.

REUTERS/Mike Blake

By Dan Freed
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK New York City voted on Wednesday to suspend Wells Fargo from its municipal debt issuance operations, citing a rating tied to doing business in low and moderate-income communities as having fallen below a “satisfactory” level.
The commission also cited last year's scandal, in which the bank was caught creating bogus customer accounts to boost performance measures.
The New York City Banking Commission, in a unanimous 3-0 vote, decided it will give no new bond underwriting mandates or renew existing contracts with Wells Fargo. The decision follows a Federal Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rating of “needs improvement” for the San Francisco-based bank.
The decision adds New York City to other states and municipalities that have banned the bank from handling their funding operations.
The commission was composed of Mayor Bill de Blasio, Compt..

Fitch Ratings downgrades MetLife’s Brighthouse Financial unit

Fitch Ratings downgrades MetLife’s Brighthouse Financial unit

A MetLife Inc building is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., January 24, 2017.

REUTERS/Mike Blake

By Suzanne Barlyn

Fitch Ratings Inc downgraded MetLife Inc's Brighthouse Financial Inc unit on Wednesday, citing the unit's lowering of its capitalization and financial targets from last year.
Fitch, which downgraded Brighthouse Life Insurance Company one notch, from an A+ to an A, said its ratings outlook remains stable.
A MetLife spokesman directed Reuters to a Brighthouse Financial spokeswoman, who declined to comment.

Brighthouse Financial Inc is a holding company and the consumer life insurance and annuity unit created by MetLife Inc.
MetLife announced last year that it planned to spin off its Brighthouse business, which sells life insurance and annuities to individuals. MetLife, which is still awaiting regulatory approval for the move, will continue to focus on its U.S. employee benefits and overseas businesses, the company has said.

Fitch's rating for Br..

U.S. infrastructure-focused mutual funds, ETFs attract inflows in May

By Jennifer Ablan
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK Investors poured an estimated $316.6 million into infrastructure-focused U.S. mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in May, according to preliminary data by fund-tracker Morningstar Inc. on Wednesday, extending a monthly inflow streak since the presidential victory of Donald Trump.
The latest figures suggested investors were warming to the president's budget proposal, unveiled last week, which calls for $200 billion in federal infrastructure funds with hopes to leverage $800 billion more in private and state government investments.
Investment firms including BlackRock Inc, the world's largest asset manager with $5.4 trillion in assets under management, Blackstone Group LP, the world's biggest private equity manager, and Jeffrey Gundlach's DoubleLine Capital have been active in the sector.
BlackRock has been building up its infrastructure unit, started in 2011. It works on public-private partnerships globally, and on comple..

In rare twist, cash may prove better portfolio protector than bonds: James Saft

By James Saft

With bond yields at historic lows, cash may now be in a rare period when it offers better portfolio protection and diversification than bonds.
Yields on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes are just 2.2 percent, driven nearly 40 basis points lower since March by a rally in bond prices on moderate growth and sluggish inflation.
The yield on cash, of course, is even lower, with three-month Treasury bills yielding just 0.98 percent, but cash’s usually discreet attractions may now, unusually, mean that its low volatility and more symmetrical risks give it the upper hand over bonds in portfolio construction.
“In a low-return world, the drawdowns from government bonds have been significant,” Alain Bokobza and the asset allocation team at Societe Generale write in a note to clients.
“We find the excess return offered by government bonds over cash is now in negative territory. Due to lower volatility, lower correlation and a similar expected return as for bonds, our (methodolog..

California could let consumers sue banks, despite arbitration clauses

WASHINGTON California lawmakers are making headway on legislation to allow state residents to sue financial institutions for fraud, rather than letting banks force customers to settle disputes in arbitration.
The state Senate on Tuesday passed the bill, spurred by last year's Wells Fargo phantom accounts scandal. It now goes to the legislature's Assembly, where it is also expected to win approval.
Under the bill, judges could override contract clauses that require customers to settle disputes through arbitration in cases where a bank commits fraud using customers' personal information.
“Instead of allowing victims to have their day in court and permit an independent judge or jury to arrive at a verdict following an open and fair trial, Wells Fargo wrongly pushed customers seeking justice into forced arbitration,” California Treasurer John Chiang said in a statement on Wednesday.

Mandatory arbitration clauses inserted into Wells Fargo account-opening agreements have ..

Your Money: Creative caregiving solutions for the ‘sandwich generation’

Your Money: Creative caregiving solutions for the ‘sandwich generation’

Hands are held in a file photo.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

By Beth Pinsker
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK Stretched thin by the needs of your children and your elderly parents? Try this “sandwich generation” solution: Move your young adults in with their grandparents and let them take care of each other.
This is working for Eileen Helmer, who turns 30 this summer, and her grandmother, also named Eileen, who is almost 90. They are best friends and roommates in Miami.
“I do all the grocery shopping, heavy lifting and changing the lightbulbs. She takes care of all of my plants,” says Helmer, who moved in with her grandmother more than six years ago to save money during law school.
She liked it so much that she stayed after she graduated and went to work for EY as a tax lawyer.
The middle generation – made up of her mom and her three aunts and uncles – could not be happier to have a caring family member on site.
“Everyone says it’s a great relief,” says Helmer.
Many members of the so-call..

Wild swings, lack of liquidity keeping U.S. funds out of bitcoin

Wild swings, lack of liquidity keeping U.S. funds out of bitcoin

A Bitcoin (virtual currency) paper wallet with QR codes and a coin are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015.

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

By David Randall
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK A lack of liquidity is keeping U.S.-based mutual fund managers from investing in bitcoin even as the digital currency hits record highs.
Only four out of the more than 10,000 mutual funds based in the United States have bitcoin as part of their portfolios, according to data from Morningstar Inc. Of those four, three are from the same New York-based firm, Kinetics, which collectively manages $1.2 billion in total assets. The company declined a request to comment for this story.
The value of bitcoin has more than doubled this year in volatile trading as retail investors in Japan and South Korea have piled into the digital currency. Bitcoin has also been increasingly used in so-called ransomware attacks because of its untraceable nature [L1N1IQ2..

U.S. fund investors buy into bonds every week of 2017 – ICI

By Trevor Hunnicutt
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK Fund investors binged on bonds during the latest week, sending another $8.1 billion to U.S.-based debt funds that have not recorded a week of withdrawals this year, Investment Company Institute data showed on Wednesday.
Taxable bond mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in the United States attracted $7.4 billion, while municipal bond funds pulled in $665 million, the trade group said.
The rotation to bonds comes as investors have shown caution around the handsomely priced U.S. stock market.
Investors pulled cash from domestic equity funds for the fourth straight week, withdrawing $5.5 billion, according to ICI.

But some investors say now is not the time to be wary.
“We're fully invested, and we think equity investors should be fully invested,” said Chuck Self, chief investment officer at iSectors LLC in Appleton, Wisconsin.

He said investors in bonds risk being on the wrong side of an overaggressive move by the U.S. Federal Reserve ..

Investment funds urge shareholders to vote down Mylan board, pay

NEW YORK The New York City and State pension funds and the California State Teachers' Retirement System are fighting the re-election of six board members at drugmaker Mylan Inc and its 2016 executive pay including Chairman Robert Coury's compensation of more than $97 million.
The funds, along with Netherlands-based pension fund PGGM, said they control 4.3 million shares of the company and are urging shareholders to vote against the company at Mylan's June 22 annual meeting.
In a May 30 letter released on Wednesday in a regulatory filing, the funds said Coury's compensation in 2016 totalled $160 million including vesting and other payments, and came despite the company's price hiking scandal around its emergency allergy treatment EpiPen and share decline.

The company has been the subject of federal and state investigations and agreed last fall to pay $465 million to settle U.S. Justice Department allegations that it overcharged the government for EpiPen.

The..

Bank customers overwhelmingly reject robo-advisers: survey

LONDON The vast majority of bank customers in Europe would not let a computer program make and act upon financial decisions on their behalf, a survey showed on Wednesday, in a sign of caution over the rising so-called robo-advice industry.
Robots ranked below financial advisers, friends or even using the internet as a means of making investment decisions, according to the fifth annual International Survey Mobile Banking conducted by Dutch bank ING Groep (INGA.AS).
The survey of 15,000 people across 15 countries said that 91 percent of respondents would not let robo-advisers act unilaterally. A quarter of those surveyed would be willing to use the machines' advice so long as the human customer got final approval.
The fact that people are reluctant to cede control over a decision – even when the outcome from outsourcing the choice could be more beneficial – explains why so few would hand money choices to a robo-adviser, ING said in its report.

The robo-advice market was originally..

BlackRock expects windfall from insurers after new ETF regulations

BlackRock expects windfall from insurers after new ETF regulations

A man walks next to a BlackRock sign pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York, October 11, 2015.

REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

By Trevor Hunnicutt and Suzanne Barlyn
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) expects $300 billion in new money from insurers to flood into the already booming bond exchange-traded fund sector over the next five years, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday, following a move by regulators to adjust some requirements on how the investments are valued.
A National Association of Insurance Commissioners working group in April modified requirements on how insurers can record some bond ETFs for accounting purposes.
A group of ETFs already identified by the NAIC can qualify for a more favorable accounting treatment similar to that accorded bonds if they meet certain requirements. In some cases, insurers will be able to calculate a bond ETF's value based on the cash flows of the bonds held by the fund.
That switch to a “systematic value” accounting treatment is a..

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