Business Insider – FA Insights

February 2015

FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for financial advisors. 

There are 5 major ways how lower oil prices can affect clients (Financial Planning)
The oil price drop has been one of the biggest stories in the last year. While prices are low, advisors should be aware of the way their clients can be affected by this, writes Andrew Welsch.
The five major ways lower prices can change up things for clients, according to Welsch, are: 1) “mailbox money” will get squeezed, 2) a company’s stock could take a beating, 3) small businesses could get squeezed, 4) there could be buying opportunities, 5) and cost structures could change.
“We’re spending a lot of time talking with clients, making sure that we’re not engaging in knee jerk reactions,” Jesse Clinton, a partner and managing director at Snowden Lane Partners, told Welsch. “We’re looking at what is our exposure to oil and maybe how we can take advantage of it.”
There are some pretty scary geopolitical risks following the lower oil prices (Advisor Perspective)
“We are fearful that the magnitude and pace of the decline in the price of oil could cause some dislocations in the global economy. We could see a rise in defaults for oil-related debt. Financial crises in some oil-producing countries cannot be ruled out. In particular, we worry about Russia. With the oil price collapse and the US/EU sanctions, we worry that President Putin may respond with more aggression in the region. We are also concerned that a weak oil price could perpetuate the rise of terrorism and conflict in the Middle East and elsewhere,” writes Derek Hamilton of Ivy Investment Management Company.
HighTower snapped up a broker with $225 million in client assets (The Wall Street Journal)
Patricia Pick joined VWG Wealth Management, which has been part of HighTower since 2011, as a partner and managing director, reports Michael Wursthorn. HighTower said that with Pick, the total assets under management would climb to roughly $1.2 billion.
“Her hiring comes on the heels of two big moves by HighTower last month,” writes Wursthorn. “The firm last week announced that it secured an additional $50 million to boost its revolving credit facility to $150 million.”
Don’t be fooled by what currency moves are doing to corporate profits (Charles Schwab)
“As the dollar rises, the United States is facing the opposite effect seen in Europe. The dollar’s surge is reducing earnings at U.S. companies that derive a large portion of their revenue from abroad. Of course, some businesses hedge currency movements, but to others it may come as a surprise or as a regular cost of doing business,” writes Jeffrey Kleintop.
“Understanding earnings can be tricky, but don’t be fooled into thinking that double-digit European earnings growth is supported by economic fundamentals,” continues Kleintop. “The much stronger earnings growth expected for Europe is significantly affected by the large currency moves that are boosting European earnings and weighing on those of U.S. companies. A weaker currency is no substitute for a stronger economy.”

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