FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for financial advisors.
The Reason Financial Geniuses Are Becoming Rare (Advisor One)
In its May newsletter, investment firm Research Affiliates says financial geniuses are rare – just as scientific geniuses like Einstein are – and they may be becoming rarer. The firm "worries that the pace of financial genius could be mirroring a slowdown in the natural sciences, where the vast amount of knowledge required to reach the conceptual frontier has become harder than ever to attain," writes Advisor One's Gil Weinreich. In other words, the path to innovation is longer than ever. The solution, says Research Affiliates, is maintaining a collegial atmosphere where all investment ideas, no matter how outlandish, receive critical evaluation.
Corporate bond issuance has surged on the back of low interest rates and strong demand. But Charles Schwab doesn't think that there's reason to worry just yet. This is because 1. This hasn't been accompanied by a rise in mergers & acquisitions and corporate leverage, if that were to happen it would be worrisome.
"We think most firms are still taking advantage of low interest rates to reduce their interest expense and extend their maturities. We haven't seen a marked increase in mergers and acquisitions or shareholder-friendly activities just yet, and corporate leverage remains well below pre-crisis levels, according to aggregate data on the S&P500®. However, we think an increase in leverage or in bond issuance to fund acquisitions would be more worrisome."
On Thursday, Josh Brown wrote that the stock market is nothing like it was in 2000 and one crucial difference is the P/E ratio. Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus has a chart that shows the S&P 500 and its P/E ratio. This shows us that stocks are cheaper today than they were then, earnings are higher, and the real (inflation-adjusted) price of the stock market is about 20% lower than in 2000.
Create An Office That Impresses Clients (Financial Planning)
Financial advisor Ron Carson writes about how an experience in a shabby dentists' office made him rethink the atmosphere he created in his own office for clients. "As advisors, we have to be reminded there is more to communicating than what comes out of our mouths," says Carson. "The way you invite visitors, the ambiance of your office, and the way you and your team dress are all ways of sending a message without speaking." Carson offers a few tips for how to upgrade your office, dress for the occasion, be aware of your tone, and avoid distractions.
This has been a better bull market than we expected, particularly in 2013. But this is conforming to history—the average gain in the fifth year of a bull market is 19% (implies 1,719). The S&P 500 closed on 5/16 at 1,650, above our original target of 1,580, thus we are raising our YE target to 1,715, based on a 14.7x P/E on our 2014E EPS of $117. We realize investors are apprehensive about making fresh money purchases, but we see the risk/reward as particularly attractive in Technology, Health care, and Financials.
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