Jerome Powell's first policy meeting as chairman of the Federal Reserve is likely to result in an interest-rate increase to 1.5% to 1.75%, market forecasters say. This week's meeting "could set the tone for the rest of this year and beyond, and investors will be wondering whether Mr. Powell sanctions a more aggressive stance than the markets currently expect," says Russ Mould of AJ Bell.
A new group composed of North American institutional investors and hedge funds has been established by the Standards Board of Alternative Investments to examine topics such as best practices and fees. The group, which will work on voluntary standards, involves about 200 managers and investors overseeing assets totaling about $3 trillion.
A review is underway to assess how the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive has affected EU and non-EU hedge funds, and the move is prompting concerns that a new round of regulations could be on the way. AIMA has said that EU rules might include tougher restrictions for financial firms without the UK as a lobbying force after Brexit.
Hedge fund managers and commodity trading advisers generally hold more Treasury bills or cash than long-only fund managers, and therefore could see positive effects from increased interest rates, Ben Carlson writes. Higher short-term interest rates could be beneficial for CTAs that employ trend-following strategies, Carlson writes.
Oil prices' short-term volatility in January was at its lowest point since August 2014, John Kemp writes. The volatility has shown a downward trend since early 2016, even as prices have risen more than 40% since mid-2017, Kemp writes.
A letter from the Congressional Black Caucus calls for hedge funds and mutual funds to assess diversity at the companies in which they make investments. Asset managers have influence on many corporate issues, and that influence as shareholders should extend to diversity, the caucus said.
The proposed Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2018 would do away with a fear of fiduciary risk that has discouraged many retirement plan sponsors from offering participants annuity options, said Robert Melia, executive director of the Institutional Retirement Income Council, a nonprofit retirement industry think tank. The bill gives plan sponsors "a very easy safe harbor" that allows them to rely on insurance company representations to satisfy their fiduciary duties, he said.
The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority have issued their 2018 exam priorities, and while many are familiar, there are a few new ones advisors should pay attention to, writes compliance expert Todd Cipperman. Wrap fee programs, cryptocurrencies and thinly traded securities are among the regulators' new priorities.
Retirement costs roughly three times as much as owning a home or raising a child, with an average cost in the US of more than $700,000. Retirement expert Mitch Tuchman offers three suggestions to help people prepare.
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