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New Media on Ulitzer Topic A at the recent Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Annual Meeting (SIFMA) was what to do about the fastest-growing communications phenomenon since the invention of the Internet: the explosion in social networking. Whenever compliance and communications come together there is sure to be a tussle and this meeting was no different. Chairman and CEO Rick Ketchum cited the current policy as “currently constructed, these sites would not permit you to easily supervise these communications. For that reason, most firms prohibit their employees from using these sites for their business.” Still, trying to hold back the social media communications tsunami is not likely to last. The cost of not communicating to advisors and clients through their preferred vehicles does not make a lot of long-term business sense. Mr. Ketchum readily a... (more)

Marketing Exec Bruce Johnston Says Social Media Will Revive Mutual Fund Sales

New Media on Ulitzer Last year, as imploding credit markets roiled the economy, mutual fund organizations throughout the country took stock of their revenue prospects. It was clear that a change or two was in the wind at Denver’s Old Mutual Investment Partners, too. For Chief Executive Officer, D. Bruce Johnston, one more change was clear: He wanted to do something different. From thought leadership to measuring results Two major influences fueled his thinking: The prolific blogging activity of his friend, the best-selling author of The Ultimate Client Experience, Scott McKain and the promise of social media metrics and analytics in measuring the success of advisor value-added programs. After serving as a C-level executive at Conseco Funds, Garthmore Funds, Sentinel Funds and Old Mutual, he wanted to take a closer look at the role of social media in transforming busine... (more)

Christmas Could Never Get Started Today

This time of year is a favorite for children of all ages – I happen to be one of these kids – in part because of the television programs that are shown around Christmas. A Charlie Brown Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, have been favorites of mine since TV went from exclusively black and white to poor quality color. This is no coincidence as these programs were made in the mid 1960’s. As I was watching this year, it occurred to me that if at this time in history Christmas had not yet been established, if somehow Christmas needed to be “started” in 2009, it wouldn’t stand a chance. Christmas would be doomed before it ever got started. First of all, the only time you can say Jesus Christ anymore is when you hit your thumb with a hammer. You can’t mention Him at City Hall, you can’t display a crè... (more)

Invest at Bargain Basement Prices!

Wealth Management on Ulitzer On February 27, 2009 I wrote these words in an article entitled "Are Things Improving?" "6) There are only two things you can buy at unusual discounts these days: A new car and stocks. These prices are beginning to attract takers. If things were as dire as CNBC said, all other stuff would be cheaper". "7) As the companies we own have reported earnings, most of them have beaten expectations. In other words, the businesses continue to perform even though the stock prices are not. What you own continues to become more valuable. Over the next 5 years, the prices of these stocks will reflect that increase in value. Patience is how we will capture it". At the time I spoke of stock prices at the end of February and beginning of March as once in a life time opportunities.  Look at this chart of Nike and what you see is that the price in late Febru... (more)

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation Leverages CAST to Manage Outsourced Development Projects

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 06/21/07 -- Today innovative enterprises are utilizing multi-shore application development strategies, spreading the development of software applications to the most appropriate sources around the globe. However the benefits of outsourcing and multi-shoring can be offset by the lack of control and increased risk introduced into the software development process. To offset this considerable risk and to enable organizations to improve their control over far-flung development centers, CAST's software platform monitors not only the quality of software applications but also the efficiency of application development teams. One of CAST's customers, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), reports today that it has been successfully using the CAST Application Intelligence Platform for more than a year to help manage two strategic o... (more)

Statements on Demand Using XSL-FO

We encounter many statements and reports in our day-to-day lives. Phone bills, utility bills, bank statements, and investment account statements are a few examples. More and more, the companies that produce these statements are making them available online, on demand through the Web. Some companies now offer incentives for customers to accept online statements in lieu of printed statements delivered through the mail; customers who want a printed record must print it locally. The problem with printing locally is that statements produced as HTML don't print well. The page breaks don't occur in the right place - table footers appear at the top of the page following where they should appear, and lines of text split from one page to the next. The edges of the reports get truncated on the printer such that all of the account detail on the right-hand side is lost. A much ... (more)

SEO/SEM Journal: Google Launches Test Version Of Finance Site

Google has launched a test version of a financial news portal, aiming to draw users away from rivals like Yahoo! and Microsoft Corp's MSN. Google financial service is divided into channels that provide summaries of the market, stock quotes and links to news, blogs and group discussions. "Our goal with Google Finance," the company said in an official statement, "is to enhance the user experience when searching for financial information and make this information useful and digestible for all types of users. Google Finance also strives to offer users a new way to understand stock performance." Some of the highlights in Google Finance Beta include: * Interactive Charts – Google Finance takes financial charts one step further by mapping market data with corresponding news stories in one interactive chart, so users can track news to stock performance. In addition, use... (more)

Investment Professionals Discuss 2007 Stock and Bond Markets and Economic and Regulatory Outlook at Winter 2007 Investment Press Briefing

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 03/30/07 -- At the Winter 2007 Investment Press Briefing held last month, investment professionals gave their projections for the stock and bond markets and the economy in 2007, and examined the regulatory issues that the investment management industry faces in the year ahead. The media conference was hosted by Millennium Media Consulting, an Arlington, Va.-based public relations and media consulting firm. A summary of the speaker presentations follows. Globetrotting for Real Estate Value "We think there are market inefficiencies outside of the U.S. where disclosure is not as frequent and less transparent," commented Robert Promisel, a principal with Adelante Capital Management LLC, an employee-owned investment firm headquartered in Oakland, Ca. which specializes in real estate securities and portfolios. "Investing in International p... (more)

Rydex Investments Introduces Institutional Currency Commentary to CurrencyShares(SM) Web Site

ROCKVILLE, MD -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 03/11/08 -- Rydex Investments -- the firm that introduced the first currency-based exchange traded product -- today announced the availability of online commentary to help educate investors about the dynamics of currency as an asset class. now features weekly commentary from Foreign Exchange Analytics (FXA), which can be found under the web site's "Research and Tools" option. The new commentary provides institutional insight into the world's major currencies, including the Australian dollar, British pound sterling, Canadian dollar, euro, Japanese yen, Mexican peso, Swedish krona, Swiss franc and U.S. dollar. "Currency represents one of the largest and most liquid asset classes, averaging more than $3.2 trillion in daily turnover(1)," says David Reilly, director of portfolio strategy at Rydex Investments. "As invest... (more)

A Little Encouragement...

I am not sure the origination of this quote, but it certainly is timely: "Hard work: All hard work brings profit; but mere talk leads only to poverty. Earnings: Never depend on a single source of income. Spending: If you buy things you don’t need, you’ll soon sell things you need. Savings: Don’t save what is left after spending; Spend what is left after saving. Borrowings: The borrower becomes the lender’s slave. Accounting: It’s no use carrying an umbrella, if your shoes are leaking. Auditing: Beware of little expenses; a small leak can sink a large ship. Risk-taking: Never test the depth of the river with both feet. Investment: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket." ... (more)

Hedge Funds or Asset Allocation - What Does Work?

While tracking the market today, I expanded the S & P 500 graph time window from the normal mode of a month or a year, to run from 1970 through the present. What I found illustrates a fascinating principle of wealth building. The blue line represents that value of the S&P 500 index. I overlaid the bright pink line to show what would have been the normal path of the economy had the trend from 1975 to 1995 persisted. Obviously it did not. The period from 1995 to the present represents a time of unprecedented “activity”. What we can also see is that activity produced no sustainable, wide spread, wealth as right now the index has returned to its normal path. Considering this period from 1995 to 2009 carefully it occurred to me that this “unprecedented activity” brought about sweeping change 1) In the widespread use of hedge funds, 2) Ridiculously easy credit, 3) An increas... (more)