June 30, 2015

What does Uber, AirBnb, and your asset management firm have in common?

Digital marketing, which includes social media, has been a serious strategy for client engagement in the mutual fund industry for several years now. It is now more important than ever that your firm not only understand the value of digital, but also be actively engaged in it. Digital interfaces have changed the way that people interact with each other and allow them to share product reviews, information, and network more quickly than ever before.  Two industry executives made the case at our recent client conference.

June 22, 2015

Cogent: Strengthen digital results with quality creative and ad spend

With the exception of face-to-face visits from a wholesaler, new data from Cogent Reports™ reveal that across nine types of marketing outreach, digital approaches deliver the biggest lift in financial advisors’ provider consideration levels. Specifically, advisors exposed to the mobile apps, websites and webinars of leading asset managers have brand consideration levels that are at least 36 percentage points higher than those reported by advisors who have not had such exposure. These insights come from Q1 data posted to the Cogent Reports Advisor Touchpoints™ portal, which tracks the performance of the marketing efforts of the 15 leading mutual fund, ETF and VA providers. Cogent Reports is the syndicated division at Market Strategies International.    

June 18, 2015

Morningstar: Fund flows slowing down?

International-equity and taxable-bond funds continued to lead the investment pack in May, according to Morningstar's latest fund flow report. At month’s end, international-equity had an estimated inflow of $24.0 billion, mostly into passive funds. While this continues to exhibit strong investor preference for passive investment strategies, the total international-equity inflow was lower than in previous months. Could this be the start of a slow down?

Taxable-bond funds continue to take in strong flows despite the looming possibility of the Fed raising short-term interest rates.

On the active side, U.S. equity funds continued to see outflows, albeit smaller than in April.

For Morningstar’s full report and analysis, please click here.

June 17, 2015

Fund firms are using data to help them sell their funds

"The world's largest asset management firms have quietly launched an arms race to collect, analyze and exploit data about financial advisers. Some of the larger companies have entire teams dedicated to the effort," according to a recent article in Investment News.

The article mentions $900 million financial advisor Phil Huber from Huber Financial. “It's kind of funny. You'll get an email from a fund company, click a link, and you can pretty much guarantee within a day or two you're going to get a phone call from them.”

And it's not just the largest firms. More boutique firms also invest in data to understand who their advisors are - both clients and the universe who don't yet have positions.

June 16, 2015

13 fund attributes wanted by advisors


I recently met with my friend Charlie Dixson at CNBC who hand delivered a copy of their recent study on financial advisor media outlook and usage. This annual study provides insight into the thought process and preferences of financial advisors with regard to their media consumption and knowledge of ETFs and fund families.

One theme caught my attention: