Saturday, July 29, 2006

Brooke Astor and wealth management PR

Poor Brooke Astor. At 104 years old, she can't be left in peace.

Have you seen all the articles? Here's a list of those that have appeared so far in The New York Times , including an editorial, "If It Could Happen to Her..."

My first thought was to feel sorry for the entire family. Then wonder what could have been done to prevent this situation.

Then I thought, "This would make a great hook for a wealth management article."

Let's watch to see how long it takes before such an article appears.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Analyst Forum for CFA candidates

There's a new website called Analyst Forum.

It calls itself "an online community designed exclusively for CFA candidates and charterholders to discuss the Chartered Financial Analyst program." It provides online bulletin boards for discussing the CFA exam in general and each level individually.

While the site seems to be driven by the profit motive -- it has plenty of ads from the exam prep providers -- the bulletin boards appear to be legit. You might find it a useful source of support, especially if you're a CFA without much of a local investment community.

Labels: Goldilocks economy has finally caught up with the Goldilocks economy.

How many years has that term been around? I first heard it in the 1990s when I interviewed mutual fund managers for the "Portfolio Management Strategies" column of Mutual Fund Market News.

Here's what said in a recent Buzzword of the Day mailing:

B U Z Z W O R D O F T H E D A Y Goldilocks Economy: When the economy isn't too hot to cause inflation or too cold to cause a recession. It's just right. To see the full Buzzword Compliant Dictionary, just click here.

Forward Buzzword of the Day to your friends.
They can sign up at:


Monday, July 17, 2006

Rob Arnott: "The Fiduciary Time Line"

The definition of a fiduciary sure has changed since I took my CFA exams in the 1980s.

Editor Rob Arnott's article, "The Fiduciary Time Line: Implications for Asset Allocation," in the March/April issue of the Financial Analysts Journal suggests that fiduciaries embrace:
  • A willingness to stray from conventional stock and bond investments
  • A careful and prudent quest for alpha
  • Disciplined management of the asset mix
  • Leverage
His perspective on commodities also interested me: "Commodities, for instance, are a high risk asset class when viewed in isolation, but the negligible correlation with a 60/40 equity/bond portfolio represents a powerful opportunity for diversification and portfolio risk reduction.

In the same issue of the Financial Analysts Journal, Gary Gorton and K. Geert Rouwenhorst conclude in "Facts & Fantasies about Commodity Futures" that "Although the risk premium on commodity futures is essentially the same as that on equities for the study period [of June 1959-Dec. 2004], commodity futures are negatively correlated with equity returns and bond returns. The negative correlation is the result, primarily, of commodity futures' different behavior over a business cycle. Commodity futures are positively correlated with inflation, unexpected inflation, and changes in expected inflation."


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

CFA Magazine: "Media Presence: Gaining Exposure through media outlets can provide intangible benefits"

Getting publicity can help CFAs and other managers targeting high net worth investors, as Ed McCarthy points out in "Media Presence: Gaining Exposure through media outlets can provide intangible benefits" in the July/August issue of CFA Magazine.

I agree with McCarthy's "Key points" summary on page 50 of the magazine.

I can add some points:
  • Hire a PR consultant who's familiar with the publications and reporters covering your area of expertise
    • They can get you better interviews and placement faster
  • Use a PR consultant -- or at least a former reporter -- for mock interviews
  • The more you invest in answering media queries forwarded by organizations such as NAPFA, the FPA or CFA Institute, the more you'll get out of them
    • I recently sent a list of questions to the FPA, which circulated them to their members. Most of the responses said, "the reporter can call me." One response answered my questions in detail. That's the person whom I quoted most heavily in my article. Why? Because he minimized the time I needed to invest in him.
  • You can't ask a reporter to let you approve or read a story prior to publication; you can ask the reporter to let you check any quotes for accuracy
    • If you make this request, you must commit to replying quickly to the reporter
  • Always provide the reporter with your name, title, firm name and city/state
    • To ensure the reporter gets it right, email the information