31 Oct 2011

Investors Still Awaiting Decision on Critical Issue of Fee Reform.

Note: This article was originally published in July 2010.  Investors are still waiting for a decision. After decades of wrangling, false starts, and back room intrigues, it looks like the SEC is finally addressing the long-over due, critical issue of mutual fund fees. Today, these fees charged to fund shareholders

Chuck Epstein 0
31 Oct 2011

Master Limited Partnerships Offer Benefits

Investors who are disgruntled with erratic returns from stocks and are searching for yield are increasingly moving into Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs). Once considered esoteric and limited to sophisticated investors, MLPs are publicly-traded on the NYSE and NASDAQ. They offer yields in the form of quarterly distributions, which are similar

Chuck Epstein 0
31 Oct 2011

Insurance Industry Lobbying Group Accused of Thwarting Fiduciary Standard Proposal

The struggle for financial reform became more interesting this week as an association representing financial planners accused an insurance industry lobbying organization of trying to kill the adoption of a fiduciary standard for individual investors. In a petition signed by thousands of financial planners, the Financial Planning Coalition said the

Chuck Epstein 0
31 Oct 2011

Retirees Continue to Rely on Social Security for Majority of Their Incomes

A new study examining the income sources for Americans over age 65 shows more people are relying on Social Security for their retirement income, while income from jobs has remained consistent since 1962, according to a new study by the Social Security Administration. The study found that 38% of Americans

Chuck Epstein 0
30 Oct 2011

Economic Slowdown Affecting American Spending Habits

The current long recession is changing American spending behavior. Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2007 and 2010, Americans have reduced expenditures on luxury items (restaurants and clothes) and more on essentials (healthcare, fuel.)  The data shows that consumer spending by family unit declined by 3% to $48,109,

Chuck Epstein 0
29 Oct 2011

Is Fraud Tolerance an Unofficial Policy of U.S. Regulators?

The housing fraud shockwaves that broke the U.S. banking system and had a ripple effect worldwide is going unchecked because it is part of the unofficial policy of U.S. regulators. According to Professor William Black, Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri, in Kansas City, U.S.

Chuck Epstein 0
29 Oct 2011

Income Inequality Has A Definite Cost

Wage-based incomes continue to decline, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s April 2011 report.  Using data from February 2011, the report found that wages, benefits and salaries accounted for 75% of total personal income in 1970. This fell to 67% in 2005 and to 64% in 2010. At the same

Chuck Epstein 0
29 Oct 2011

Revenue Sharing Taints 401(k) Plans

While the 401(k) movement has been going strong for the past 30-plus years, it now looks like the investment managers who were administering the funds and providing the advice have been engaged in a conflict of interest with their company plan counterparts. At least that is what the U.S. Department

Chuck Epstein 1
29 Oct 2011

Europeans Ask Geithner About Wall Street Bonuses

In a global economy, the world’s central banks have become increasingly intertwined and interdependent.  This often creates interesting confrontations, especially when they are public.  This is what makes this Bloomberg news article interesting.  Since this article was published in June 2011, Europeans have imposed some salary caps on their top

Chuck Epstein 0
29 Oct 2011

Can Mutual Fund Wholesaler’s Salaries Be Justified?

One of the biggest problems facing the mutual fund industry’s relationships with its millions of shareholders is justifying fund wholesalers’ salaries. This is a contentious and sticky issue for a few reasons: First, mutual fund wholesalers really don’t add anything which directly benefits shareholders. In theory, they should be reducing

Chuck Epstein 0