Mad Men, the wildly popular AMC TV show about the fictional 1960s advertising agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, is set in a haze of cigarette smoke, alcohol and chronically inappropriate behavior. Hedge funds, dating back to a similar era, have remained equally hazy to most Americans, as well as often being equally off-center in their behavior. Today, as a result of the JOBS Act (Jump-Start Our Business Start-ups), hedge funds are now allowed to advertise their products through the mass market. And, to further confuse consumers, hedge funds come in all flavors, all shapes and sizes. Speaking of them as a single asset class is akin to going to the zoo and telling the zookeeper, "I'm here to see the animal."..Read More »
One of the stories pinging around on the Internet recently was Goldman Sachs' plan to hire a social media community manager. While most concluded that it was "the toughest job on Wall Street," I happen to think otherwise. It's actually my "dream job," as difficult as it may be. While it might be intensely challenging and would definitely require absolute vigilance, the upside is huge. I think this is the ultimate opportunity to prove the potential impact that social media can have in managing reputation and tipping point to move the needle in the all-important "court of public opinion." Executing a digital strategy for Goldman Sachs that would change the sentiment of both the public and Wall Street would be the validation that social media, especially in the financial services sector, really works. It's the ultimate use case...Read More »
The middle class is toast. In the wake of the financial crisis, middle class families in the U.S. are burdened by too much debt, the rising cost of health care, fewer jobs and the ever-increasing price tag on retirement.
Financial advisors in the future who want to prosper need to hitch their star to high net worth clients, including , maybe even especially, those from outside the U.S. who are seeking a dynamic asset allocation approach designed to deal with rising global market and economic volatility...Read More »
While I think it's true that "the rich are getting richer," it's important to note a newer, more quantifiable trend: the rich are getting younger. Heretofore, most wealth creation and/or wealth inheritance events occurred much later in life. One of the major drivers behind creating the new young wealth has been technology. Also in the past, wealthy people tended to transfer wealth upon their death while today an increasing amount of wealth is transferred during life. This leads me to say that wealth is having a "facelift" -- Gen-X and Gen-Y will soon overtake baby-boomers as the wealthiest generation in history. In addition to looking younger, there are many differences in behavior, expectations and values. High net-worth youth will drive increasing demands for mobile information and connectivity and community. Can slow moving industries, like financial services, adjust quickly to the need to retool themselves to meet the "service requirements" and client experience expectations of the first generation to grow up with computers?..Read More »