Fidelity Reduces Advisors' Fund Options
From The Wall Street Journal
The Boston Behemoth is flexing its muscles and limiting the fund options of financial intermediaries who utilize competing supermarkets, puzzling industry observers and angering advisors. Yesterday's WSJ reported the story of selected advisors receiving a letter from the fund company, informing them that they would not be able to put new clients' money in some of Fidelity Investments' best-known and best-selling funds. It will take some time to see whether this move asserts Fido's control over the supermarket channel or whether this possible hubris results in advisors moving to other funds or another supermarket that is more advisor-friendly.
European Fund Flows Revive
From The Wall Street Journal
Europeans have invested more money in mutual funds in February and March than in prior months. However, flows are still off from last year. European investors are wary of what they see as high priced stocks. High yield bond funds and Japanese stock funds are proving to be good draws.
Schwab Site Down Again, Declares Split
From The Boston Globe
Schwab's Internet trading site went down for 15 minutes at around 11 a.m. yesterday. It was the sixth time this year that the site has been off-line. Schwab points out that the site is operational more than 99% of the time. Separately, Schwab's directors
declared a two-for-one split in the company's shares.
Fidelity: Every Second Counts
From The Boston Herald
Fidelity's new ad campain for its on-line brokerage service stresses reliability and speed and features the tagline "Every second counts." This message is highlighted in a new fast-paced campaign created by the Boston agency Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos. The Boston fund giant is earmarking 20% of its ad budget for the campaign in the second quarter. Fidelity will continue its ad campaign featuring Peter Lynch.
Bogle Sees More Moderate Returns
From The Arizona Republic
"We live in an age when almost everyone believes that stocks and stock funds will outperform bonds and that they are therefore less risky," Bogle told a Phoenix audiance yesterday. "But when everyone believes the same thing, that's (dangerous)." He said that high P/Es and low dividend yields portend a return of 5% to 10% going forward. He recommended, of course, that investors choose low cost index funds.
More on Extended Exchange Hours
From The Washington Post
The paper reports that the NYSE is planning to move its open to 9 am in June and extend the close to 4:30 pm in September. Next year the exchange will be open from 5 am to sometime between 9 pm and midnight. Meanwhile, the paper reports again that the Nasdaq is planning an evening session for as early as this summer.
Traditional Banking is Dead
From The Philadelphia Inquirer
The future of finance will be dominated by banking-insurance-investment conglomorates Edward Crutchfield chairman of First Union Corp. explained in a speech yesterday. He predicts that ten "superbanks" will dominate, Fleet among them.
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