News Mentions & Press Releases

Marc Pfeffer on Money Life with Chuck Jaffe

January 10, 2019
Chuck Jaffe — Money Life

CLS Chief Investment Strategist Marc Pfeffer sits down as the Big Interview guest on Money Life with Chuck Jaffe. Marc discusses why investors should continue to take a long-term outlook despite the recent market decline. Plus, impacts of the ongoing trade war and other political tensions.

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CLS Investments Combines TAMP Business With Newly Acquired FTJ FundChoice

December 21, 2018
Diana Britton —

FTJ CEO Dean Cook will lead the initiative to bring the businesses together. The move will allow CLS to focus on investment management, which will be led by Rusty Vanneman, president and chief investment officer at CLS. CLS CEO Ryan Beach will transition to FTJ as president.

Advisors on the CLS platform will now have access to FTJ’s lineup of investment strategists.

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OMAHA, Neb.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–FTJ FundChoice, an open architecture TAMP based in Cincinnati, together with CLS Investments, LLC (“CLS”), a third-party money manager and a leading manager of exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) portfolios, today announces plans to unify their TAMP businesses under the direction of FTJ FundChoice CEO, Dean Cook. The move, which will take effect in early 2019, aligns the resources of two NorthStar Financial Services Group (“NorthStar”) subsidiaries serving a similar audience in ways that will enable each to provide a deeper and more meaningful service and solution experience.

Since NorthStar’s acquisition of FTJ FundChoice earlier this year, the two companies, which will combine to have over $14 billion in TAMP assets and an additional $4 billion in platform and privately managed assets, have worked to realign their collective resources in order to provide advisors with a unified platform dedicated to delivering access to a wide range of managers and strategies. With FTJ FundChoice adding depth and resources to its TAMP offering sales team, sister company CLS will, in turn, focus on its core competency of providing investment management.

“When we joined NorthStar, we realized that there was an opportunity to examine our resources and create better service options for FTJ FundChoice, CLS, and the greater advisor community,” said Dean Cook, CEO of FTJ FundChoice. “Now, we’re operationalizing a plan that will enable our TAMP to springboard the competition and deliver a more complete experience to our combined client base.”

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Bonds are Pulling Portfolios Into Negative Territory, Not Stocks

December 5, 2018
Jeff Benjamin — InvestmentNews

The stock market’s 3% drop Tuesday provides the latest proof that volatility is back. But the recent gyrations in major stock market indexes doesn’t tell the full story of what’s happening inside client portfolios.

While marquee benchmarks like the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 are getting all the attention, it’s the normally steady fixed-income component that is wreaking the most havoc on portfolio performance.

The S&P 500 is still up 2.8% from the start of the year, but the Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate Bond Index is down 1.3%, which will be dragging portfolios below the closely watched S&P.

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3 Interesting ETFs You May Have Missed

November 26, 2018
Grant Engelbart, CFA — ETF Trends

One year ago, I published a piece highlighting Three Undervalued ETFs you’ve Never Heard OfSince then, luckily, all these ETFs are still open for trading, and two have performed quite well. Asset growth has been OK, with CRAK taking the cake. (Tough to say whether it was my analysis, pure investment merit, or the ticker symbol that really propelled that one forward!) Portugal has yet to realize its value, but hey, at least it’s not Turkey.

While not completely striking out on these previous recommendations, I’ll take the momentum from those selections and continue my quest to uncover the hidden gems across the ever-growing ETF ecosystem. Let’s take a look at three more ETFs that have been overlooked, undervalued, or undiscovered that investors may want to take a second look at.

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How to Protect Your Retirement Investments in These Volatile Markets

November 26, 2018
Robert Powell — TheStreet

We’ve seen this scary movie before. In 2000 and then again in 2008: The market starts to crater and retirees and those on retirement’s doorstep start to panic as they watch their nest egg decline in value and along with it their standard of living.

On the one hand, they want/need to stay investing in stocks. But on the other hand, they want to protect their principal. What to do? What asset allocation do advisers suggest? What sectors/stocks offer downside protection with upside potential? Here’s what advisers had to say.

Of course, it should go without saying but it also bears repeating that the key to any investment strategy, at any point of the investment life cycle, is in developing a specific plan and following it, period, says Christian Hyldahl, president and chief investment officer of Varium Investment Partners.

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‘Get Me Out’: Investors Sour on Market Strewn by Tape Bombs

November 19, 2018
Lu Wang , Elena Popina , and Vildana Hajric — Bloomberg

Anxiety is an occupational hazard, a fact of life, for professional traders. After all, even on good days, something is always going wrong, somewhere.

But when everything starts to go wrong at once, imaginations can run wild. Like now, when everywhere you look, something’s blowing up. In commodities, it’s the record plunge in oil. In equities, it’s six weeks of turbulence in the S&P 500. Debt markets have been rattled by the turmoil engulfing General Electric and PG&E. Bitcoin just plunged 13 percent. And Goldman Sachs, the storied investment bank, is having the worst week since 2016.

By themselves, none would be enough to incite panic. But have them erupt all around and even the most grizzled Wall Street types can start to sound paranoid. Does GE have something to do with Goldman? How does Bitcoin sway the stock market? Wildfires have nothing to do with crude’s convulsions, but both are bad news for banks.

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Single-, Multi-Factor ETFs to Ride Out Shifting Market Trends

November 12, 2018
Max Chen — ETF Trends

Investors seeking to diversify a traditional equity portfolio may consider market factors and the effects of combining various factors into a multi-factor strategy.

On the recent webcast (available On Demand for CE Credit), How to Use Single- and Multi-Factor Strategies in Every Portfolio, Mo Haghbin, Head of Product, Beta Solutions at OppenheimerFunds, highlighted the shift in the marketplace, outlining the current increase in volatility driven by a confluence of monetary tightening, a higher inflationary trend, and the introduction of tariffs.

Consequently, investors could look to alternative investment strategies like factor-based investments to help smooth out a bumpy ride. Greg Ellston, Director of Asset Allocation at Confluence Investment Management, also added that the nascent inflationary pressures triggered by more restrictive trade policies could foreshadow greater influence on equity valuations and on factor exposures.

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Midterm Elections: 7 Quick Facts on Market Impact

November 5, 2018
Shana Sissel — ETF Trends

The U.S. midterm elections are just around the corner, and investors remain concerned about how the results could impact the equity markets. The answer is simpler than many may think: The midterm elections have historically been positive for U.S. equities.

It may sound odd not to consider the election outcome, but that’s because it largely doesn’t matter. As famed investment analyst Ken Fisher noted, since 1926 the S&P 500 has generated positive returns 87% of the time in the nine months following the midterm elections, regardless of which party won or whether there was a change in the majority. He calls it the “87% miracle.”

This phenomenon comes down to the known versus the unknown. The market hates unknowns, and the results of the midterm elections provide clarity as to the political landscape for at least the next two years.

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SMArtX Advisory Solutions (“SMArtX”), a leading financial technology and Turnkey Asset Management Platform (TAMP), today expanded the number of third party investment manager models offered on its UMA platform. SMArtX added 15 new strategies, and now features 159 firms offering about 450 strategies. The strategies include a full array of traditional long only, long/short equity, global macro, and direct indexes, all offered in an UMA structure.

The new firms and strategies include:

• CLS Investments: Focused ESG, Protected Equities, SMART Risk Budget 100 Aggressive, SMART Risk Budget 30 Conservative, SMART Risk Budget 40 Moderately Conservative, SMART Risk Budget 50 Moderate, SMART Risk Budget 60 Moderate, SMART Risk Budget 75 Moderately Aggressive, SMART Risk Budget 90 Aggressive

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