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1) Who Got it Right? A Look Back at Expert Predictions for 2021

Visual Capitalist  |  12/9/2021

Because… It’s the time that asset managers are working on their Market Outlook for the next year. The effort of putting together a comprehensive report is worth it given these marketing pieces help deepen communication with investors and establish thought leadership. While publishing a Market Outlook for the new year has become a tradition at some asset management firms, there are still a lot of firms that have never committed to such an endeavor. In addition to a reality check on the accuracy of the past predictions to prove research teams’ expertise, a well-written market outlook report requires a concerted effort from different business units. Typically, the task falls on the shoulders of the marketing and portfolio management teams. In fact, sales people could chip in too because they, by interacting with distribution partners directly, know more about what investors are interested in and what they really care about. For example, some firms only focus on potential market opportunities in the new year and neglect to mention risks and major concerns. Others may elaborate on their forecast of economic indicators without sharing their take on possible sector movement.

2) BNY Mellon Investment Management Launches Three Active Sustainable ETFs

PR Newswire  |  12/15/2021

Because… Besides BNY Mellon, American Century filed for three actively managed responsible ETFs a week ago. AQR is planning to launch the Sustainable Long-Short Equity Carbon Aware Fund. As the sustainable fund space gets even more crowded, firms should feature this investment theme in the marketing and distribution process in order to stand out from peers. Fund providers need to let investors know what specific criteria they use as different firms usually have different focuses, such as environmental protection and/or corporate governance. Only by clearly defining and disclosing their criteria can investors find out if the fund’s investment principle resonates with their own values. Asset management firms, especially active fund sponsors, should also send the message that they will not overlook fund performance by practicing ESG. Some investors are worried that fund returns could be sacrificed if social issues are integrated into investment decisions. Fund firms need to help investors understand the concern about ESG and the pursuit of better investment performance do not have to be in conflict and the evaluation of ESG impact should be able to complement the overall research.

3) Introducing Schwab Starter Kit – Designed to Support First-Time Investors

Business Wire  |  12/15/2021

Because… For the six million new brokerage accountholders who joined Schwab and TD Ameritrade this year, the Starter Kit provides tailored education, trading tools, and retirement planning resources, which is very helpful for first-time investors. Schwab pointed out since 2016 more than half of its new retail households are age 40 and younger, driving 40% of its net new assets. Targeting this younger age group, who may have had a later start to first-time investing compared to older generations, requires helping them navigate market volatility, guiding them on how to make best use of tools and resources to make sound decisions, pointing out the limitation of relying solely on technology for choosing funds, and demonstrating steps to build a well-rounded portfolio.