Investing in a chaotic world isn’t easy. You hope you’re doing the right thing. But hope is not a strategy. When I talk with investors like you on the phone, you’re telling me about the hours-long waits you’re enduring with custodians from Charles Schwab to Vanguard and, yes, even Fidelity. The phone tree is alive and NOT well. That’s unfortunate because you deserve more. If you’ve been with me through thick and thin, then you know the plan. You’re hunkered down collecting dividends and interest, in other words, getting paid to be in this market. If you’re not with me, I have no idea what … [Read more...]
Why Fidelity is Number One
You don’t build a company such as Fidelity Investments, with more than $2 trillion in assets, overnight. It takes constant focus and improvement, day by day, or kaizen—a Japanese philosophy of daily improvement espoused by former chairman Edward C. “Ned” Johnson III.
When I worked at Fidelity, back in the mid-90s, Mr. Johnson encouraged us, through his memos, to apply the philosophy of kaizen to all aspects of our lives.
Mr. Johnson paid particular attention to kaizen as it related to the firm’s investment in technology. He wanted to make sure Fidelity was second to none.
Read more about why Fidelity is number one below:
The investing world lost a legend this week with the passing of Edward “Ned” Johnson III. You can read about our history here. When Your Survival Guy Joined the Family Business My Personal View on Fidelity Investments for You Thank You Mr. Johnson Richard Young Reports: 50+ Years with Fidelity and Wellington Rich CEO, Poor CEO? Why Fidelity is Number One Fidelity is Boston and Boston is Fidelity Fidelity Investments: Why it’s #1 The Wall Street Journal's Justin Baer writes of Johnson's life: Edward “Ned” Johnson III, who transformed Fidelity Investments into a … [Read more...]
In my conversations with you, you ask me why we use Fidelity Investments as our custodian for client accounts. As you know, we have a long history with Fidelity going back to when Dick Young called on the firm during his Boston days, well before he started Richard C. Young’s Intelligence Report. As Dick tells the story, Fidelity was always the high-water mark, along with Wellington Management, especially for the institutional business, and clearly was moving strongly into retail. Fidelity simply never looked back and continues its dominance today. So, if you’re going to trust your lifetime … [Read more...]
UPDATE: The numbers are in. BlackRock is pushing around boardrooms to focus on everything BUT profits and shareholder return. Politico reports: At companies across the globe, BlackRock supported 64 percent of environmental proposals and about a third of social and governance resolutions put forth by shareholders in a year when workforce diversity and climate risk rose to the top of investor concerns. With $9 trillion in assets under management and ownership of more than 7 percent of shares on the S&P 500, BlackRock voted against corporate management at 42 percent of shareholder … [Read more...]
Listen up, are you paying attention? Stuff is boiling over around the world. It’s time you prepare accordingly. In talking with a client yesterday, we discussed whole life insurance. I don’t love it. I much prefer term life which we both agreed on (for me, I just want it until my kids are out of college). He said, “You know, that’s exactly what Peter Lynch used to recommend.” You remember Peter Lynch, don’t you? Author of One Up on Wall Street and famed manager of the Fidelity Magellan fund? His name was legendary in the halls of Fidelity when I was working there (Fidelity #1). In thinking … [Read more...]
Opportunistic, fresh out of college, young Americans moved to big cities for decades until the COVID-19 pandemic and the BLM/Antifa riots and looting hit in 2020. For a new generation whose college educations couldn't be put to use in their suburban or rural home towns, city living was the best path to success. Now, with the rise of remote working, governors gone wild, and America's big blue cities in chaos, young people are finding their way back home in what one professor calls a rethinking of the "balance of our lives." Here's the story of one couple who came back to Rhode Island, … [Read more...]
Confidence among workers about retirement is nearing record highs, with 72% confident they will be able to retire comfortably. That's close to the record set in 1993 when 74% of the workforce was confident in retirement. Anne Tergesen writes in The Wall Street Journal: About three-quarters of U.S. workers and retirees believe they will have enough money for retirement, an increase from a year ago, according to a survey released Thursday. The survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute provides a snapshot of how Americans feel about their retirement prospects. Among workers, … [Read more...]
Who's got your back in the world of finance when the going gets tough? And some other thoughts. When Georgia changed its voting laws, and over 100 CEOs and business leaders signed a letter in protest, did they even read the law? File this under my "You Invest, They Win." Are you surprised to see BlackRock CEO Larry Fink or Vanguard? You can check out the list below. Sell in May go away? Has there been a better time to be a seller of real estate? 2006 comes to mind. If you're a buyer, stay off the beaten path. Here's Your Survival Guy's tip of the day. Keep a chunk of your stock … [Read more...]
Service is King, even today when many financial firms treat it like the Joker. Try getting a copy of your 1099, or figuring out a K-1. What you’re faced with is, perhaps, hours in a phone queue maze with no satisfactory answer. Some of these firms, not Fidelity, are too big and end up failing simple tasks. Other’s are left offering funds that are too big (like some of Vanguard’s) and then fail to meet the needs of investors (such as ESG funds from BlackRock and others) while trying to save the world. All you want is what you asked for, is that so hard? For some, in a word, yes. Action Line: … [Read more...]
The financial services business is booming. The keyword being “services.” Because as millions of existing and new retirees look for help, the demand for service is stretching some firms’ capacity to help them. Not Fidelity’s, because, as you know, Fidelity is #1. With all the talk about robo-advisers, one fact remains with automated services; nothing can replace a live conversation with a financial adviser. I know my customers. I know when their emotions are high, and that’s something I don’t see a robot catching. Service is a huge part of getting your finances right. I know you don’t … [Read more...]