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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.
Does Vanguard pose a threat to advisers? PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 April 2014 14:57

By Trevor Hunnicutt

On April 16th, Grant Easterbrook spoke with Investment News via video-chat to provide commentary on the momentum robo-advisers are seeing and Vanguard's potential impact on the market.

Click here to watch Grant's Commentary...

Finally, some social-media ground rules PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 April 2014 14:55

Like it or not, social media is part of our culture, and neither advisers nor regulators can stick their heads in the sand and ignore it.

As Liz Skinner reported, a survey conducted by Corporate Insight in December indicated that 67% of Generation Y/Millennials and 28% of baby boomers said that they would use an online search tool to find an adviser.

Such searches often lead to sites that feature customer reviews. Slowly, the SEC has come around to realizing that social media is here to stay and has tried to help advisers adapt to it to enhance their businesses, while at the same time protecting investors from its abuses.

Click here to read the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article...

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