Research Blog

529s and Comprehensive Financial Wellness

Paul Curley September 18, 2017

This past July, Dimensional Fund Advisors held the Defined Contribution Annual Conference in Chicago. Among the topics discussed was a panel on “Comprehensive Financial Wellness.” Those who do not…

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How Subadvisory Funds Respond to Fee Pressure

Chelsea Zhao September 12, 2017

Fee pressure has been a popular topic of discussion in the fund industry, as relatively cheaper beta products have gained market share and regulation has increased cost sensitivity. Subadviser…

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The Tax-Reform Seesaw

Matthew Cirillo September 6, 2017

While concrete details of a plan have yet to be made public, numerous rumors and much speculation have come to light over the last several months related to President…

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ETF Inflows Go Back to Basics

Anthony Disanzo August 28, 2017

Huge inflows to ETFs no longer come as any surprise. Net subscriptions to ETFs have surpassed $200 billion for three years running, and they had already surpassed $260 billion…

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Performance-Based Fees: Time for a Fresh Look?

Dennis Bowden August 22, 2017

Performance-based fee structures (also known as fulcrum fees) have been an increasing area of discussion around the industry during 2017. Recent innovative fund launches, most notably AB’s FlexFee series,…

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How Does Alternative Product Development Respond to Downturns?

Alan Hess August 15, 2017

With equity markets near record highs, many investors have forgone Alternative and non-traditional products, as they have been able to garner strong returns in their traditional portfolios. However, it is precisely at these high points that investors should be concerned about downturns and should be looking at other sources of returns.

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Can Investors Benefit from Artificial Intelligence Exposure While Efficiently Diversifying Their Portfolios?

Julie Martin August 8, 2017

Artificial intelligence has been at the heart of recent debates in financial circles. The term encompasses such a wide range of activities that it can prove confusing to investors. A broad definition of the term includes all kinds of machine learning techniques, as used by an outstanding number of tech companies. While it appears difficult to invest in pure AI, machine learning, and robotics companies, an alternative approach is to focus on tech-driven leaders that largely build or rely on artificial intelligence.

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A Litmus Test for Multi-Asset Funds?

Jeff Strange August 1, 2017

Recently, multi-asset mutual funds have not had the collective attention of the industry as they did a few years ago, despite a market size of over $900 billion. This doesn’t mean, though, that there hasn’t been ongoing planning by asset managers around how the products could still be a staple of intermediated distribution. Just last week we saw mention of Columbia Threadneedle refocusing efforts on its multi-asset capabilities.

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A Snapshot of the Subadvisory Market

Chelsea Zhao July 24, 2017

As of May 2017, mutual fund and variable annuity portfolio assets that are subadvised by affiliated and unaffiliated subadvisers reached over $7.4 trillion, but unaffiliated subadvised assets paint a better picture of the actual opportunities for existing and prospective third-party subadvisers.

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Closing in on $1 Trillion: Target-Date Mutual Fund Growth – Q2 2017

Matthew Cirillo July 17, 2017

Target-Date Funds (TDFs) are fast approaching a major milestone – $1 trillion in mutual fund assets. At the end of June 2017, the figure stood at $985 billion, putting the mark within striking distance. Over the previous twelve months, TDFs have seen a 21.5% increase in assets, buoyed by net new flows of $65.3 billion and favorable market conditions (the S&P 500 experienced total returns of 17.9% for the period).

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