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In the News

Corporate Insight is frequently in the news, whether to announce and discuss our published research or to offer our views on topics within our areas of expertise. Scroll down this page to read the latest articles in which we’ve appeared, and use our News Archive to find previous items.
Don’t Try to Outwit the Robots — Embrace Them PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 April 2014 11:39
Financial Advisor IQ
By Murray Coleman and Joan Warner

The onslaught by so-called robo-advisors continues, but they’re not about to knock traditional wealth managers out of the industry, says Carl Richards of the BAM Alliance on Morningstar Advisor. At the same time, if practitioners fail to exploit technological tools that can make investing cheaper and more client-friendly, they’re basically “crazy,” he writes.

Online financial-advice providers manage or advise more than $11.5 billion in client assets, according to a new report by researcher Corporate Insight. (For context, PwC estimated assets under professional management in North America at $33 trillion in 2012.) Top players in the space include Betterment, Covestor, FutureAdvisor, SigFig and Wealthfront. The draw of their business model is that using algorithms to sort through investment options can dramatically lower fees and speed up the process of cobbling together an asset allocation plan.

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Robo-Advisors Gobbling Billions in Assets PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 April 2014 11:34
By Danielle Andrus

Online financial startups are starting to take root with investors. A report released Wednesday by Corporate Insight analyzed 11 online investment advice providers and found that combined they have more than $11.5 billion under management or advisement.

The majority of that is under advisement, the report found, as those firms reported they provide paid advice for $9 billion in client assets. Online startups directly manage $2.6 billion in client assets, according to the report.

Data for the report was pulled from publicly available information. Corporate Insight also conducted interviews with executives at several firms.

Corporate Insight tracks more than 200 online financial services startups, but this analysis only included data from the 11 best-known firms: Assetbuilder, Betterment, Covestor, Financial Guard, FutureAdvisor, Jemstep, MarketRiders, Personal Capital, RebalanceIRA, SigFig and Wealthfront. The services those firms offer include algorithm-based advice and advice from real advisors who meet with clients virtually.

Those firms are among the oldest and largest of the startups Corporate Insight tracks, according to Grant Easterbrook, an analyst for Corporate Insight. Considering how new the services are though, “old” is relative.

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Robo Advisors Gaining Influence, Assets PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 April 2014 14:32
Main St
By Hal M. Bundrick

Eschewing regular face-to-face portfolio reviews and higher fees, a growing number of investors are turning to online investment advice, rather than traditional financial advisors. And the trend is particularly driven by young adults – Gen X and Y – the very generations advisors are seeking to replace an aging clientele.

The online startups, frequently referred to as "robo advisors" by the financial services industry, perhaps in a transparent ploy to diminish their credibility, are now gaining assets under management at an increasing clip. Corporate Insight, a financial services research firm, tracks over 200 of these "fin-tech" startups, and analyst Grant Easterbrook was able to quantify the impact of these firms.

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Adviser reviews coming soon to a website near you PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 April 2014 14:30

Investment News
By Liz Skinner

Financial advisers should keep an eye open for a new form of client feedback that's on its way — public reviews.

The guidelines issued last week by the Securities and Exchange Commission for how financial advisers can use testimonials in social media is expected to spur the creation of more online venues for the public to review and rate their financial advisers.

The SEC said advisers can now link to sites such as Yelp!, as long as the reviews are independent from the adviser and aren't organized to display only chosen testimonials, such as exclusively positive feedback. Regulators also said advisers may advertise on these third-party sites.

“I don't think that online searches for financial advisers is going to turn the world upside down in 2014, but long-term, the writing is on the wall,” said Grant Easterbrook, a senior research associate at consulting firm Corporate Insight.

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Firms See Value in Coaching Advisors on Social Media PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 09:46
By Matthew Beaton

The older the advisor, the more guidance they will need on social media, says Jeffrey Latzer, senior analyst at Corporate Insight.

The advisor population is split between tech-savvy youth and aging veterans. The younger advisors need guidance on how to be professional on social media while the older ones need an introduction to it, Latzer says.

Putnam also is seen as an industry leader on social media. Its Advisor Tech Tips video blog offers the “most comprehensive technology tips,” according to the Corporate Insight report.

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Blogs Standard in Fund Industry, Despite Unclear ROI PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 09:41
By Matthew Beaton

Useful blogs offer light reading with an educational focus, rather than in-depth reports, says Fred LaPolla, an analyst with Corporate Insight.

Another goal is that the blog posters gain a public persona, LaPolla says, and become a go-to source for market information.

“It helps to build awareness of who these managers are and lets individuals see a little bit more about the thought processes behind the fund management,” LaPolla says.
Blog posts also allow firms to advocate for their investment methods, LaPolla says. They are speaking directly to current and potential clients and have the chance to convince them of the company’s tactics, he says.

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