Feb

6

 After reading this article "The Rich Are Already Using Robo-Advisers, and That Scares Banks", I wonder three things:

1. Making a broad assumption that most of these "artificial intelligence" schemes do similar things isn't it likely to cause even more herding behavior as assets in these plans increase?

2. Placing money in several plans and observing what's done might provide foreknowledge of what might be executed in the future.

3. Are they using ETFs or individual stocks? From the small amount I've read about these plans it seems to be ETFs.

For sure the assets in these plans are not currently enough to move markets -yet. But like ETFs which began as a small force and grew to be of great influence they could eventually move markets on their own. It's the commoditization of investment advisors in a similar way that ETFs commoditized retail trading.

Rudy Hauser writes: 

I would add the move by pension funds into equity investing. When my late friend, Prof. Paul Howell, who at the time ran the NYC pension funds, wrote an article in 1958 that appeared in the Harvard Business Review and madeg the case why pension funds should mainly be invested in equities, it had the largest request for reprints of any article in that publication up to that time. The idea of pension funds investing most of their assets in stocks was a new trend at the time. I would also add the event of mutual fund investing, that really took off in the decades after WWII.

Stefan Jovanovich writes: 

Another really dumb question for Jonathan and the other pros. But, first, a brief description of what those of sitting in the bleachers see as the great events in "financial history" since WW II.

1. End of fixed commissions; "discount" brokerage
2. Retail/commercial trading in Financial futures
3. Retail/commercial trading in Options
4. Derivative trading
5. Retail/commercial trading in Currencies

Now the dumb question: Which, if any, of these 5 developments are the historically comparable to the rise in ETFs?


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  1. Ed on February 6, 2016 7:43 pm

    In reality they are all just a sales funnel for Vanguard and similar while collecting a few basis points in the process - nothing more. They all do the standard diversified portfolio with a touch of marketing fairy dust.

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