18 Nov 2014

Principal CEO Says Investors Cannot Understand Benefits of ETFs and Alternative Investments

CEOs set the tone for their companies in every respect–behavior, motivation, intellectual curiosity, innovation and ethics—so it was not surprising to hear that the Larry Zimpleman, CEO of Principal Financial Group ($114 billion in assets under management), my former employer, criticized some of the most innovative products in modern financial

Chuck Epstein 0
19 Apr 2012

Revenue sharing lawsuit costs plan sponsor $35 million

In what is being called the first suit involving revenue sharing and fee disclosure and heightened transparency, a Missouri company has been ordered to pay $35 million to current and former plan participants. The lawsuit  (Ronald Tussey et al v. ABB Inc. et al, Case No. 2:06-CV-04305-NKL, United States District

Chuck Epstein 0
09 Jan 2012

Accepting the “New Normal” in Financial Marketing

 “The U.S. job market is showing signs of a sustained recovery. But the country’s prolonged struggle with unemployment will leave scars that are likely to remain for years, if not generations.” –Ben Casselman, The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 9, 2012 While the prevailing mantra for the upcoming election is “job

Chuck Epstein 0
02 Dec 2011

Low Fund Costs Predict Better Future Returns

The debate over the benefits of active investment management versus passive investing remains a favorite topic of investors.   Whenever new data emerges to buttress the long-established argument that index funds, which use passive investing, outperform on all measures compared to active-funds, the strategy gains more attention. 

Chuck Epstein 0
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
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 2
28 Oct 2011

Why Mutual Fund Expenses Matter to Shareholders

There are over 8,000 mutual funds in the U.S.* and virtually all of them charge fees to shareholders to help offset their operating expenses.  This is a normal cost of doing business. But the mutual fund industry considers itself special.  Over the years, it has lobbied securities regulators for exceptional

Chuck Epstein 1