Coming to Grips with Excess Revenue Sharing

US defined contribution (DC) plan fees have been hit with heavy scrutiny recently—from Department of Labor (DOL) disclosure regulations to a rash of lawsuits that have cost several large plan sponsors millions of dollars in settlements and judgments. But perhaps one of the most interesting fee issues today focuses on revenue sharing.

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Who’s Afraid of Low, Low Rates?

Falling yields on Treasuries are often seen as a signal of a weakening economy that could undermine stocks. We think there are other explanations that don’t threaten the outlook for equities.

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Muni Investors Should Watch Both Ends of the Curve

In early 2013, we urged investors to take a hard look at the interest-rate risk in their bond portfolios. If they didn’t do it then, they have a chance to do it now.

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Bold ECB Plan Fails to Quell QE Talk

This week, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced a bigger and broader package of stimulus measures than anyone anticipated. But don’t hold your breath for a material near-term boost to growth or inflation in the region.

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Can Japanese Stocks Defy Sluggish Exports?

As Japanese equities struggle to make headway this year after an explosive 2013, new questions are being asked about the economy’s direction. From an investor’s perspective, we think the sluggish export trend may be masking a more positive environment for stocks.

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How Tax Savings from a College Savings Plan Could Pay for a Year of College

The option to front-load funding makes a tax-deferred college savings plan is a great way to avoid taxes on the future growth of funds earmarked for higher-education expenses. We project that the taxes avoided over a 10-year savings horizon could pay for a full year of college.

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The Future’s Still Bright for College Grads

Is college worth it? It’s not an uncommon question these days, especially with soaring college costs, ballooning student debt levels and higher unemployment. But research shows that pursuing a college degree can result in far more than just a diploma.

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Six Principles for Smart Tax Management

It is well known that taxes began to take a bigger bite out of income for the well-off in 2013. Top marginal tax rates rose, and some exemptions and deductions were phased out. What is less well known is that investors spending from their portfolios—even those investors whose tax rates didn’t rise—may be facing higher [...]

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Start Saving for College Now, or Pay Much More Later

The price tag for attending college 18 years from now is projected to be considerably higher than it is today—up to hundreds of thousands of dollars higher for a four-year degree. But using a tax-favored strategy to save for college can help make the costs of future educational expenses less daunting.

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Sovereigns Look Seductive in Europe’s Periphery

Jorgen Kjaersgaard (pictured) and John Taylor Investment-grade bonds issued by nonfinancial firms in Europe’s peripheral countries have had a great run but now look expensive. In our view, government bonds from the likes of Spain and Italy offer better value for investors who want peripheral exposure.

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