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Retail Investing: Finding True Alpha

Posted by on Dec 18, 2010 in Conference Summaries

In his presentation at the FRA’s 8th Annual Managed Accounts Summit, Jack Sharry began with a quick review of changes in investor sentiments over the past thirty years. We’re at a point now where the baby boomers are looking towards an uncertain retirement, he stated.  After the market upheavals of the past few years, the As Executive VP of LifeYield believes that investors are looking for “true alpha” which is comfort, predictability and assurance. Investment alpha is elusive.

A Brief History of Retail Investing and Advice

Jack agreed with Cheryl Nash’s comments that we’re headed towards the UMH, which enables the advisor to look at the whole picture:

  • Data Aggregation – combining household information from multiple custodians, allows advisors to provide more comprehensive advice.
  • Financial Plan – how much income do you need? How best to get there?
  • Product Selection – most investors have a “jumble of stuff” that they have purchased over time. How do you make sense of it? The tendency is to sell whatever didn’t work. Jack expects to see more advances here.
  • Asset Allocation – not just at the product or account level, but at the overall HH level.
  • Tax overlay – we’re seeing great strides here, how do I help my client get more from less with their retirement dollars?