ETF inflows rise to a record $4 trillion and top industry expert says it’s still ‘early days’

“I think we’re still in early days of adoption because I think ETFs are now moving to a level playing field,” she said Monday on CNBC’s “ETF Edge.” “With the ETF rule coming to market, it really means bringing ETFs out will be as easy as mutual funds,” she said. “Today, the ETF industry globally is $2.5 trillion bigger than the hedge fund industry,” Fuhr said. “So, if you’re an ETF provider and you have a larger ETF, you can charge lower fees and put the product in front of more customers.” “It’


“I think we’re still in early days of adoption because I think ETFs are now moving to a level playing field,” she said Monday on CNBC’s “ETF Edge.”
“With the ETF rule coming to market, it really means bringing ETFs out will be as easy as mutual funds,” she said.
“Today, the ETF industry globally is $2.5 trillion bigger than the hedge fund industry,” Fuhr said.
“So, if you’re an ETF provider and you have a larger ETF, you can charge lower fees and put the product in front of more customers.”
“It’
ETF inflows rise to a record $4 trillion and top industry expert says it’s still ‘early days’ Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-09  Authors: lizzy gurdus
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, expert, industry, etfs, etf, think, record, inflows, days, funds, trillion, going, market, youre, assets, fuhr, rise, early


ETF inflows rise to a record $4 trillion and top industry expert says it's still 'early days'

Call it an ETF explosion.

U.S.-based exchange-traded funds have racked up a record $4 trillion in assets under management as of this year, with 136 ETF providers offering 2,062 ETFs to investors, according to research firm ETFGI.

Overall, ETFs are seeing huge interest globally — a trend confirmed by record levels of inflows — and that’s unlikely to die down anytime soon, says Deborah Fuhr, the founder of ETFGI and one of the world’s leading experts on the ETF industry.

“I think we’re still in early days of adoption because I think ETFs are now moving to a level playing field,” she said Monday on CNBC’s “ETF Edge.”

With the Securities and Exchange Commission watering down its “exemptive relief” rule, which often made the come-to-market process long and arduous for ETF issuers, ETFs are entering a new era that could expand their space even further, Fuhr said.

“With the ETF rule coming to market, it really means bringing ETFs out will be as easy as mutual funds,” she said. “I think that you’ll find that different types of products will come to market.”

Some of those products could be hedge-fund replicas, which have taken hold among some ETF issuers seeking to offer a cheaper way for investors to get more focused exposure.

“Today, the ETF industry globally is $2.5 trillion bigger than the hedge fund industry,” Fuhr said. “And if you look at asset-weighted returns of hedge funds as an industry, for the past eight years, they’ve underperformed the S&P [500]. Now, you might not say that’s the right proxy, but, clearly, you’re paying a lot for those funds and they’re still not delivering alpha.”

The rush to ETFs, while powerful, has also been fairly narrow, according to Fuhr’s firm. The top 10 ETFs trading on U.S. exchanges account for 28% of total U.S. assets under management, with the top 20 U.S. ETFs accounting for nearly 40% of assets in the space.

Same goes for ETF issuers. The top five ETF providers — iShares by BlackRock, Vanguard, SPDR, Charles Schwab and First Trust — preside over 87% of the total assets in the ETF market, with iShares and Vanguard alone managing 65%, ETFGI reports.

Nick Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, said in the same “ETF Edge” interview that this market structure “does make a lot of sense.”

“Ultimately, this is an industry that rewards economies of scale, economies of scope,” Colas said. “So, if you’re an ETF provider and you have a larger ETF, you can charge lower fees and put the product in front of more customers.”

Customer acquisition will soon come into focus for one newly popular side of the market: ESG, which stands for Environmental, Social and Governance and promotes socially responsible investing. Assets invested in ESG funds topped $18 billion this year, up from $7 billion in 2017 and $4 billion in 2015.

“I think it’s becoming increasingly important, driven in Europe by the regulators forcing it to be part of the discussion and driven by people like your kids,” Fuhr said. “They’re going to have a view that they don’t want to invest in companies that aren’t doing things to help the climate or the state of the world going forward.”

As follows, “many people want to include certain types of stocks and I think people want to reward those that are doing well,” Fuhr said. “I think ESG will no longer be discussed five years from now because the indices will be including those types of factors and it’ll be mainstream.”

Steve Grasso, who is managing director of institutional trading at Stuart Frankel, pointed out in the same “ETF Edge” interview that even as the ETF space is growing rapidly, it could eventually see a serious contraction.

“Just remember: how many times have we done reports and … all looked at each other in the face and said, ‘There’s only six stocks that matter’?” Grasso said. “It’s going to be the same thing with ETFs, that you’re going to have only 28 ETFs that matter.”

Only time will tell.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-09  Authors: lizzy gurdus
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, expert, industry, etfs, etf, think, record, inflows, days, funds, trillion, going, market, youre, assets, fuhr, rise, early


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Why these investors might face a surprise tax bill around the corner

Hero Images | Getty ImagesThere’s a downside to this year’s stock market appreciation: Some investors are in line for a surprise tax bill. Mutual funds distribute capital gains to their investors close to the end of each year. Surprise gains distributions pose a planning conundrum for financial advisors. Likely culpritsSome mutual funds are more likely than others to have large capital gains distributions. See below for a list of 10 funds with hefty expected capital gains distributions for this


Hero Images | Getty ImagesThere’s a downside to this year’s stock market appreciation: Some investors are in line for a surprise tax bill.
Mutual funds distribute capital gains to their investors close to the end of each year.
Surprise gains distributions pose a planning conundrum for financial advisors.
Likely culpritsSome mutual funds are more likely than others to have large capital gains distributions.
See below for a list of 10 funds with hefty expected capital gains distributions for this
Why these investors might face a surprise tax bill around the corner Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-08  Authors: darla mercado
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, bill, tax, investors, large, manager, face, fund, kinnel, gains, mutual, surprise, distributions, funds, capital, corner


Why these investors might face a surprise tax bill around the corner

Hero Images | Getty Images

There’s a downside to this year’s stock market appreciation: Some investors are in line for a surprise tax bill. Mutual funds distribute capital gains to their investors close to the end of each year. By now, many investors have received notifications from their fund companies about that, and they can expect to receive the gains in December. While this isn’t a problem for mutual funds held in tax-deferred accounts, like 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts, those with taxable accounts will take a hit from these distributions. “It’s been a decent year for the market and I would imagine that we’ll have some significant capital gains payouts,” said Russ Kinnel, director of manager research at Morningstar.

These distributions are considered long-term capital gains, according to the IRS. For most taxpayers, these are taxed at a rate of 15%. You can also expect to get a Form 1099-DIV early next year with the details of the distribution. Hang on to this form, as you’ll need it when you file next April. So far, 2019 is looking strong for stocks, notwithstanding occasional volatility. The S&P 500 index is up by more than 20% year-to-date. Surprise gains distributions pose a planning conundrum for financial advisors. “When you get forced distributions and you don’t know what they are until the end of the year, it’s harder for tax planning,” said Alex Brusda, portfolio manager at North Star Asset Management in Neenah, Wisconsin. Also, unwinding large holdings of mutual funds that spit out taxable distributions can take years, he said. Selling out of a large position too quickly could also result in a tax bite, so it must be done gradually. “We’re being cognizant of the gains and the client’s overall tax bracket,” Brusda said. As clients sell holdings, they can replace these funds with more tax-efficient, low-turnover funds within their taxable accounts.

Likely culprits

Some mutual funds are more likely than others to have large capital gains distributions. “For an actively managed fund, it might be more of a concern than a passively managed or index fund,” said Oscar Vives Ortiz, CPA and member of the American Institute of CPAs’ personal financial specialist committee. That’s because active fund managers are buying and selling more frequently than index funds in order to boost returns. Another issue: large outflows during the year. That’s because fund managers must sell holdings to cash out departing investors. “If you have inflows, it reduces your capital gains,” said Kinnel. “If you increase your investor base by 20% this year, you’ve spread the gains across more people.” See below for a list of 10 funds with hefty expected capital gains distributions for this year, according to Morningstar. “If you’ve shrunk your base by 20%, you have fewer people to take the distribution and you must sell more to meet the redemptions,” Kinnel said. Finally, manager changes — especially bringing on a new subadvisor — could also set off capital gains. “A more typical manager change, perhaps if someone on the team is promoted, they presumably won’t make big changes to the strategy,” Kinnel said. “But a subadvisor that’s new might change the portfolio.”

Mitigating the impact

FG Trade | E+ | Getty Images


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-08  Authors: darla mercado
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, bill, tax, investors, large, manager, face, fund, kinnel, gains, mutual, surprise, distributions, funds, capital, corner


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Trump ordered to pay $2 million to settle suit claiming Trump Foundation misused funds to benefit campaign

A judge Thursday ordered President Donald Trump to pay $2 million to settle a suit by New York’s attorney general alleging he misused his Trump Foundation charity to benefit his 2016 presidential campaign, in addition to other unlawful activity over more than a decade. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla ruled that more than $2.8 million raised by the Trump Foundation had been “used for Mr. Trump’s political campaign and disbursed by Mr. Trump’s campaign staff, rather than by the F


A judge Thursday ordered President Donald Trump to pay $2 million to settle a suit by New York’s attorney general alleging he misused his Trump Foundation charity to benefit his 2016 presidential campaign, in addition to other unlawful activity over more than a decade.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla ruled that more than $2.8 million raised by the Trump Foundation had been “used for Mr. Trump’s political campaign and disbursed by Mr. Trump’s campaign staff, rather than by the F
Trump ordered to pay $2 million to settle suit claiming Trump Foundation misused funds to benefit campaign Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-07  Authors: kevin breuninger dan mangan, kevin breuninger, dan mangan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, funds, campaign, attorney, foundation, fundraiser, president, scarpulla, misused, million, trump, trumps, claiming, suit, settle, ordered, pay


Trump ordered to pay $2 million to settle suit claiming Trump Foundation misused funds to benefit campaign

A judge Thursday ordered President Donald Trump to pay $2 million to settle a suit by New York’s attorney general alleging he misused his Trump Foundation charity to benefit his 2016 presidential campaign, in addition to other unlawful activity over more than a decade.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla ruled that more than $2.8 million raised by the Trump Foundation had been “used for Mr. Trump’s political campaign and disbursed by Mr. Trump’s campaign staff, rather than by the Foundation” itself.

“A review of the record, including the factual admissions in the Final Stipulation, establishes that Mr. Trump breached his fiduciary duty to the Foundation and that waste occurred to the Foundation,” Scarpulla wrote in her ruling.

Scarpulla lowered the settlement figure to $2 million after taking into account that those funds did ultimately get to the veterans’ charities they were intended for, according to the court filing. Scarpulla also declined to impose punitive damages on Trump — which would have added millions to the settlement — because Trump had taken steps to ensure the alleged illegal activity would not occur again.

The lawsuit was filed in June 2018 by then New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood against Trump and his three eldest children — Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr. She alleged that the “pattern” of illicit behavior included “improper and extensive political activity, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions, and failure to follow basic fiduciary obligations or to implement even elementary corporate formalities required by law.”

The lawsuit revolved in large part around a January 2016 fundraiser in Iowa to raise money for veterans that went to the Trump Foundation. Underwood accused the fundraiser of being used to influence Trump’s presidential campaign.

“Mr. Trump’s fiduciary duty breaches included allowing his campaign to orchestrate the Fundraiser, allowing his campaign, instead of the Foundation, to direct distribution of the Funds, and using the Fundraiser and distribution of the Funds to further Mr. Trump’s political campaign,” Scarpulla wrote in her ruling.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said Thursday in a statement: “The Trump Foundation has shut down, funds that were illegally misused are being restored, the president will be subject to ongoing supervision by my office, and the Trump children had to undergo compulsory training to ensure this type of illegal activity never takes place again.”

“The court’s decision, together with the settlements we negotiated, are a major victory in our efforts to protect charitable assets and hold accountable those who would abuse charities for personal gain,” James said. “My office will continue to fight for accountability because no one is above the law — not a businessman, not a candidate for office, and not even the President of the United States.”

The president has raged on Twitter about the civil suit, attacking “sleazy New York Democrats” and vowing, “I won’t settle this case!”

The Trump Foundation agreed to dissolve last December and donate its remaining funds to charity.

In a statement, a Trump Foundation spokesperson said Thursday that the charitable organization had intended to dissolve after the 2016 election, but that that plan was delayed by “the Attorney General’s politically motivated lawsuit”:


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-07  Authors: kevin breuninger dan mangan, kevin breuninger, dan mangan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, funds, campaign, attorney, foundation, fundraiser, president, scarpulla, misused, million, trump, trumps, claiming, suit, settle, ordered, pay


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The success of passive investing comes down to one thing, experts say: Fees

In this market environment, the ongoing passive versus active investing debate really comes down to one thing, experts say: fees. Passive funds — including both exchange-traded and mutual funds — surpassed active funds in terms of assets under management in September, according to Morningstar, with passive funds racking up about $4.37 billion in assets by the end of the month and active funds attracting about $4.27 billion. “That’s why, when the first active ETF came to market with the ticker YY


In this market environment, the ongoing passive versus active investing debate really comes down to one thing, experts say: fees.
Passive funds — including both exchange-traded and mutual funds — surpassed active funds in terms of assets under management in September, according to Morningstar, with passive funds racking up about $4.37 billion in assets by the end of the month and active funds attracting about $4.27 billion.
“That’s why, when the first active ETF came to market with the ticker YY
The success of passive investing comes down to one thing, experts say: Fees Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-06  Authors: lizzy gurdus
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, alpha, thing, say, fees, experts, active, youre, etf, passive, need, comes, investing, fuhr, theyre, success, funds, etfs


The success of passive investing comes down to one thing, experts say: Fees

In this market environment, the ongoing passive versus active investing debate really comes down to one thing, experts say: fees.

Passive funds — including both exchange-traded and mutual funds — surpassed active funds in terms of assets under management in September, according to Morningstar, with passive funds racking up about $4.37 billion in assets by the end of the month and active funds attracting about $4.27 billion.

Actively managed stock funds based in the United States also saw their eighth straight month of outflows in September, Morningstar reported, adding that those types of funds have only seen two months of inflows since March 2014.

“People have learned that it’s hard to find active funds that consistently deliver alpha,” Deborah Fuhr, one of the world’s leading experts on exchange-traded funds and the founder of ETFGI, said Monday on CNBC’s “ETF Edge.”

Alpha refers to a given investment strategy’s ability to beat the broad market.

“If they do it one year, they’re not likely to do it next year or the following year,” Fuhr said. “On average, 7 out of 10 active funds do not beat the S&P 500 if they’re a large-cap active fund here in the U.S., and the same is true if you go around the world.”

As such, investors are turning to lower-cost products, ones that may seem less trendy or industry-focused, but are less likely to jeopardize their long-term gains, Fuhr said.

“Investors have learned [that] buying lower-cost products deliver[s], over a long run, better returns for you,” she said. “So, if it’s hard to find active funds that consistently deliver alpha, go to an index product like an ETF and get the benchmark and get alpha through asset allocation. … You’re seeing people use ETFs to overweigh countries, sectors, regions, and generating alpha through that. So, they use a barbell approach to investing.”

While they aren’t all passive vehicles, ETFs offer more cost- and tax-efficient ways for investors and money managers to get more niche or curated exposure, Fuhr said, partly solving for the issues inherent in costly, often-underperforming active funds.

“There’s going to be some significant benefits from active being inside of the [ETF] Wrapper, but … if you’re not a good alpha generator as an active mutual fund, you’re not necessarily going to be a good one as an ETF [manager],” Fuhr said.

“That’s why, when the first active ETF came to market with the ticker YYY, the resounding chorus was, ‘Why do we need active ETFs?'” she said. “Now, we do see that many asset managers feel they need to have an ETF strategy, and so, many are deciding, ‘Where should I offer ETFs? Where does it make sense?’ And so they’re jumping on the bandwagon.”

Steve Grasso, managing director of institutional trading at Stuart Frankel, agreed with Fuhr on the main driver of the preference for passive.

“I think you bring up a great point: it’s about fees, and a lot of this stuff is about … how [you can] get the cheapest execution,” he said Monday in the same “ETF Edge” interview. “If you’re going to have a bad stock pick, you might as well not pay, on top of it, a boatload of fees. When you see this push into passive investing, it’s about the fees.”

DataTrek Research co-founder Nick Colas said in the same interview that there’s also a big-picture reason for investors’ push into passive funds.

“The biggest issue is, when the mutual funds were growing from 1980 to 1999, the S&P compounded at 18% a year,” the data specialist said. “Last 20 years, it’s been 6%. So, we’ve had a third of the returns, structurally, that we had from the early ’80s, and that’s why you need passive management, to not pay those high fees because you can’t afford it.”

Disclaimer


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-06  Authors: lizzy gurdus
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, alpha, thing, say, fees, experts, active, youre, etf, passive, need, comes, investing, fuhr, theyre, success, funds, etfs


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What dividends are and why they’re important

Dividends might seem small: In mid-2019, the average dividend payment for U.S. stocks was 1.87% of your investment, according to Siblis Research. What a dividend is, and why companies pay themDividends are the little extra regular profit you earn by investing. Companies pay out dividends to encourage people like you to invest with them. How often companies pay dividends, and who’s eligibleMost U.S. companies or fund managers pay out dividends quarterly, or four times a year. However, there’s an


Dividends might seem small: In mid-2019, the average dividend payment for U.S. stocks was 1.87% of your investment, according to Siblis Research.
What a dividend is, and why companies pay themDividends are the little extra regular profit you earn by investing.
Companies pay out dividends to encourage people like you to invest with them.
How often companies pay dividends, and who’s eligibleMost U.S. companies or fund managers pay out dividends quarterly, or four times a year.
However, there’s an
What dividends are and why they’re important Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-05  Authors: john schmidt, david bach
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, returns, dividends, dividend, stocks, investment, funds, pay, important, companies, stock, investing, theyre


What dividends are and why they're important

A dividend is a periodic payout of earnings that some companies and funds share with investors just for being a shareholder. Think of it as a little bonus on top of your regular returns, like the 13th bagel you might get for free as part of a baker’s dozen. If you’ve been investing for a while, you may have seen a dividend amount listed on your statement — or you may have even received a dividend check. Dividends might seem small: In mid-2019, the average dividend payment for U.S. stocks was 1.87% of your investment, according to Siblis Research. But they can drastically impact your long-term investment performance. Here’s what you need to know.

What a dividend is, and why companies pay them

Dividends are the little extra regular profit you earn by investing. And because so many companies pay a dividend — more than 80% of the members of the S&P 500 currently do, according to data from FactSet — you can actually earn money even when the market is down. For example, if you had $1,000 invested in a fund that pays out the average 1.87% dividend, you’d earn $18.70, regardless of how the market had performed that year. Sounds nice, right? Companies don’t cut you in on the action purely out of the goodness of their hearts. Companies pay out dividends to encourage people like you to invest with them. The same holds true with exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds.

Video by Courtney Stith Investing comes with risks. Even when you buy shares of well-established companies or funds, there’s no guarantee you’ll see positive returns during your specific investing time horizon. That’s because a rate of return is not promised and you could hypothetically lose money — although historically, the stock market has never fallen to zero and, despite bumps, has grown significantly over time. Dividend payments help make stocks more attractive by ensuring you can receive some payment for staying invested. Dividend-paying companies tend to be more established than many of the so-called growth stocks, so they’re in a position to offer this sliver of their profits. And providing a dividend in and of itself may make a stock more desirable, driving up demand, and therefore the price, of a stock.

How often companies pay dividends, and who’s eligible

Most U.S. companies or fund managers pay out dividends quarterly, or four times a year. There’s no set rule, though, and individual companies may choose to give dividends once a year, twice a year, or at no set schedule, only offering payments when they’ve had a particularly good year or quarter. You generally don’t have to do anything — other than own the stock by what’s known as the date of record — to get a dividend. These payments are the participation trophies of investing: You get them just for owning a stock. They also aren’t usually prorated, meaning you get the same amount if you’ve been invested the whole quarter as you do if you invested the day before the quarter closed.

Video by Courtney Stith

Adding dividend-paying stocks to your portfolio

It may be tempting to invest all of your money in dividend stocks, but doing so may not provide the necessary diversification for your portfolio. Here’s why: Returns. Companies that pay a higher-than-average portion of their profits back to shareholders are typically more established, so their years of rapid growth are probably behind them. That means you may not get the same returns as the younger, faster-growing companies.

Companies that pay a higher-than-average portion of their profits back to shareholders are typically more established, so their years of rapid growth are probably behind them. That means you may not get the same returns as the younger, faster-growing companies. Industry reputation. Dividend payouts are also more common in certain industries, like utilities and telecommunications. Focusing on those companies may lead you to allocate too much of your portfolio to the same industry, and experts recommend buying stocks across a variety of industries or investing in index funds. To balance out the risk in your investment portfolio, experts recommend a mix of dividend and nondividend stocks and funds. That way you benefit from the steady performance of more established companies, which may be less likely to fold unexpectedly, and the potential growth of newer, smaller companies. While they may be riskier than their time-tested counterparts, their value may multiply faster.

Why you should reinvest your dividends

When you open an investment account, you’re usually given the option of taking any dividend payments as cash or reinvesting them, meaning you pay tiny fractions of stock with that money. Dividend payments are expressed as a quarterly amount — say, $1 a share — and that may seem trivial. However, there’s an important reason to consider reinvesting those dividends: Small dividends can have a big impact. Since 1960, a whopping 82% of returns for the S&P 500 have been from the growth of reinvested dividends, according to analysis by Hartford Funds. It calculated that if you started with an investment of $1,000 in 1960 and reinvested your dividends, you would have $200,000 more at the end of 2018 than you would by receiving dividends as cash every year. And that’s even without contributing another dollar.

Video by Jason Armesto In the last decade, people who reinvested dividends into S&P 500 funds saw more than 2% higher returns than those who opted for payment, according to a calculator from DQYDJ.com. Dividends are the only way to increase the number of shares you own without investing more money. Reinvested dividends let you increase your account value by purchasing more stock (or shares of funds). Because you’re investing on a regular schedule (like once every quarter or so), you’re able to take advantage of what’s known as dollar-cost averaging — buying shares at a variety of prices. And the opportunity to invest when prices fluctuate will allow you to boost your long-term returns. That’s why experts recommend you reinvest dividends along the way. Historically, the market has trended upwards — and by using dividends to buy more shares, that allows your investment account to grow even more.

How to find dividend stocks and funds


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-05  Authors: john schmidt, david bach
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, returns, dividends, dividend, stocks, investment, funds, pay, important, companies, stock, investing, theyre


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Millions in EU farm cash is reportedly being funneled to oligarchs and populists

The European Union pays out $65 billion in farm subsidies every year, but some of this money is going into the pockets of oligarchs and other powerful individuals, the New York Times reported Sunday. European farm subsidies are meant to help farmers across the 28-member states. European funds are allocated based on the size of the land owned by a farmer. The European Commission said Monday that European governments have the biggest responsibility in checking the allocation of funds. To read the


The European Union pays out $65 billion in farm subsidies every year, but some of this money is going into the pockets of oligarchs and other powerful individuals, the New York Times reported Sunday.
European farm subsidies are meant to help farmers across the 28-member states.
European funds are allocated based on the size of the land owned by a farmer.
The European Commission said Monday that European governments have the biggest responsibility in checking the allocation of funds.
To read the
Millions in EU farm cash is reportedly being funneled to oligarchs and populists Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-04  Authors: silvia amaro
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, commission, cash, funneled, subsidies, union, funds, york, times, millions, reportedly, farm, oligarchs, populists, states, european, investigation


Millions in EU farm cash is reportedly being funneled to oligarchs and populists

The European Union pays out $65 billion in farm subsidies every year, but some of this money is going into the pockets of oligarchs and other powerful individuals, the New York Times reported Sunday.

European farm subsidies are meant to help farmers across the 28-member states. However, a New York Times investigation, conducted in nine-European countries, said that the EU’s distribution of farm subsidies is “deliberately opaque, gross undermines the European Union’s environment goals and is warped by corruption and self-dealing.”

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said Monday that it “has zero tolerance for fraud with European Union funds and therefore insists on a clear commitment from member states to prevent fraud.”

Nonetheless, the Times investigation argued that in Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban uses European funds to enrich those in his inner circles, including family members, while also punishing his political rivals. Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic, Prime Minister Andrej Babis allegedly collected at least $42 million in farming funds in 2018. Babis has denied any wrongdoing.

European funds are allocated based on the size of the land owned by a farmer. Often, in former Soviet countries, the governments are the biggest land owners.

The European Commission said Monday that European governments have the biggest responsibility in checking the allocation of funds.

“According to the shared management principal, member states are primarily responsible for the sound and legal management of EU funds,” a spokesperson for the commission told reporters.

To read the full The New York Times investigation click here.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-11-04  Authors: silvia amaro
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, commission, cash, funneled, subsidies, union, funds, york, times, millions, reportedly, farm, oligarchs, populists, states, european, investigation


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Mitt Romney pushes new plan to fix Social Security. Critics say it isn’t a solution

What the plan may mean for the future of Social Security has some advocacy groups concerned. The affected trusts are the Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicare Hospital Insurance and Highway funds. However, Social Security advocacy groups who want to see benefits increased say they are skeptical. “We agree that it’s important to address solvency,” said Dan Adcock, director of government relations and policy at the National Committee to Pre


What the plan may mean for the future of Social Security has some advocacy groups concerned.
The affected trusts are the Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicare Hospital Insurance and Highway funds.
However, Social Security advocacy groups who want to see benefits increased say they are skeptical.
“We agree that it’s important to address solvency,” said Dan Adcock, director of government relations and policy at the National Committee to Pre
Mitt Romney pushes new plan to fix Social Security. Critics say it isn’t a solution Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-31  Authors: lorie konish
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, say, social, isnt, pushes, house, security, trust, romney, bill, benefits, mitt, legislation, funds, fix, proposal, solution, plan


Mitt Romney pushes new plan to fix Social Security. Critics say it isn't a solution

Mitt Romney is interviewed at the Silicon Slopes Tech Conference on January 19, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. George Frey | Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, is taking the lead on a new proposal aimed at fixing funding shortfalls for Social Security, Medicare and the nation’s crumbling highways. What the plan may mean for the future of Social Security has some advocacy groups concerned. Romney, together with a group of senators from both sides of the aisle, introduced a bill this week to look at government trust funds that are expected to be depleted in the next 13 years. The affected trusts are the Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicare Hospital Insurance and Highway funds. The proposal comes at a time when House Democrats are pushing their own legislation to extend the solvency of Social Security. If nothing changes, the program’s trust funds are projected to run out in 2035. At that point, just 80% of promised benefits would be payable. “We must put in place a responsible process now to prevent dramatic cuts to programs like Social Security and Medicare or be forced to enact massive tax hikes down the road, both of which would be devastating to middle-class Americans,” Romney said in a statement announcing the proposal. A call to Romney’s office was not immediately returned.

However, Social Security advocacy groups who want to see benefits increased say they are skeptical. That stems in part because Romney called for raising the retirement age, a move that would cut benefits, in his 2012 presidential campaign. “We agree that it’s important to address solvency,” said Dan Adcock, director of government relations and policy at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare. “We also think it’s equally important to address benefit adequacy, because of the struggle that the middle class and working class have these days in saving for retirement.”

How Romney’s bill would work

The Romney-led proposal, called the Time to Rescue United States’ Trusts, or TRUST, Act, would create congressional committees to evaluate how to bolster solvency or make other changes to improve the programs. It is supported by Sens. Doug Jones, D-Ala.; Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.; and Todd Young, R-Ind. Companion legislation has also been introduced in the House by Reps. Ed Case, D-Hawaii; Mike Gallagher, R-Wisc.; Ben McAdams, D-Utah; and William Timmons, R-S.C. More from Personal Finance:

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Here’s what Congress may do to fix Social Security this fall Once the TRUST Act is passed, Treasury would have 30 days to deliver a report to Congress on the status of the funds. Congressional leaders would form a rescue committee for each trust fund. Those committees would be tasked with coming up with legislation to repair those funds’ solvency and identify other improvements the programs may need. At least two members of each party would be required to work on the legislation. The proposal also calls for any qualifying bills that emerge from the process would get expedited consideration in both the House and Senate.

Why some advocates are concerned

The proposal comes at a time when another legislative initiative, the Social Security 2100 Act, could potentially move to a mark-up by the House Ways and Means Committee and then to the House floor. That bill, which was proposed by Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., currently has 208 co-sponsors. All of those supporters are Democrats. The Social Security 2100 Act calls for increasing benefits, including a broad boost equal to 2% of the average benefit and a new minimum benefit that would be 25% above the poverty line. It would also raise the income thresholds before benefits are taxed to $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for couples, up from $25,000 and $32,000, respectively. To pay for those changes, the bill also calls for applying payroll taxes to wages above $400,000. Only wages up to $132,900 are currently taxed. The bill would also gradually increase payroll taxes for all workers to 7.4% from 6.2% between 2020 and 2043.

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) speaks during an event to introduce legislation called the Social Security 2100 Act. which would increase increase benefits and strengthen the fund, during a news conference on Capitol Hill January 30, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) Mark Wilson | Getty Images News | Getty Images


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-31  Authors: lorie konish
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, say, social, isnt, pushes, house, security, trust, romney, bill, benefits, mitt, legislation, funds, fix, proposal, solution, plan


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Use this free tool to see if your investments are sustainable

This comes as 85% of individual investors report being interested in adding sustainable options to their portfolios, according to the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing. Sustainable investing, otherwise known as impact investing, is a strategy that considers a company’s environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) impacts crucial to their long-term success. Morgan Stanley found that despite all-time high enthusiasm for impact investing, just over half of investors are act


This comes as 85% of individual investors report being interested in adding sustainable options to their portfolios, according to the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing.
Sustainable investing, otherwise known as impact investing, is a strategy that considers a company’s environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) impacts crucial to their long-term success.
Morgan Stanley found that despite all-time high enthusiasm for impact investing, just over half of investors are act
Use this free tool to see if your investments are sustainable Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-30  Authors: alicia adamczyk
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sustainable, fund, search, returns, tools, tool, social, investments, investing, free, investors, impact, funds


Use this free tool to see if your investments are sustainable

Investors have a new resource at their disposal to make aligning their portfolios with their personal values easier than ever.

The Invest Your Values search tools, created by As You Sow, a nonprofit that promotes corporate social responsibility, “offer investors insight into the environmental and social impact of their portfolios, alongside traditional metrics like financial returns,” according to a press release. Investors can search the name or symbol of mutual funds or ETFs in six search tools, which provide a “report card” on the fund related to one of the following social or environmental issues:

For those interested in limiting exposure to firearm manufacturers, for example, the report card shows the percentage of the fund’s assets invested in gun companies, and if the fund is a member of the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US-SIF).

Investors can also browse a list of As You Sow’s “top rated” funds, which earn the highest returns and the highest “grades” on each of the issues. Financial performance is based on a comparison to the fund’s benchmark index, like the S&P 500.

This comes as 85% of individual investors report being interested in adding sustainable options to their portfolios, according to the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing. Sustainable investing, otherwise known as impact investing, is a strategy that considers a company’s environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) impacts crucial to their long-term success.

“It is all about making it easier for regular folks with a 401(k) plan to know in a few clicks if their investments are aligned with their values,” Andrew Behar, As You Sow’s CEO, told CNBC Make It in an email, adding that the company plans to add target-date funds and a comparison tool in the first half of 2020.

Morgan Stanley found that despite all-time high enthusiasm for impact investing, just over half of investors are actually engaged in “at least one sustainable investing activity.” Some of that can be attributed to the friction of being able to identify sustainable funds. With As You Sow’s tools, investors can research their fund options, or select a fund from the “top rated” list to invest in via their IRA or brokerage account (workplace retirement plans are trickier as they only offer select funds to employees). Other companies also offer ESG search tools and ratings, including YourSRI and MSCI.

Each page also provides investors with a “tool kit” to help them talk to financial advisors or other professionals about their desire to invest more sustainably, as well as how to ask their companies to add sustainable options to their 401(k) fund offerings.

Some experts warn that impact investing, a form of active investing, could harm an individual’s returns. But an analysis of 11,000 mutual funds by Morgan Stanley found that sustainable investments “provided returns in line with comparable traditional funds” between 2004 and 2018, and that they may offer more stability during periods of market volatility. But as with all forms of investing, future gains are not guaranteed.

Don’t miss: 85% of investors are interested in impact investing—here’s how to make your portfolio more sustainable

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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-30  Authors: alicia adamczyk
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sustainable, fund, search, returns, tools, tool, social, investments, investing, free, investors, impact, funds


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Fed cuts interest rates, but indicates a pause is ahead

The Federal Reserve approved an expected quarter-point interest rate cut Wednesday but indicated that the moves to ease policy could be nearing a pause. In a vote widely anticipated by financial markets, the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee lowered its benchmark funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%. Powell had used the phase in early June to tee up the July rate cut, and it has been incorporated into the official language since. “The Committee will continue to mo


The Federal Reserve approved an expected quarter-point interest rate cut Wednesday but indicated that the moves to ease policy could be nearing a pause.
In a vote widely anticipated by financial markets, the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee lowered its benchmark funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%.
Powell had used the phase in early June to tee up the July rate cut, and it has been incorporated into the official language since.
“The Committee will continue to mo
Fed cuts interest rates, but indicates a pause is ahead Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-30  Authors: jeff cox
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, powell, indicates, range, policy, rates, cuts, meeting, market, pause, language, funds, fed, federal, cut, rate, ahead, interest


Fed cuts interest rates, but indicates a pause is ahead

The Federal Reserve approved an expected quarter-point interest rate cut Wednesday but indicated that the moves to ease policy could be nearing a pause.

In a vote widely anticipated by financial markets, the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee lowered its benchmark funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%. The rate sets what banks charge each other for overnight lending but is also tied to most forms of revolving consumer debt.

It was the third cut this year as part of what Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has characterized as a “midcycle adjustment” in a maturing economic expansion.

Along with the decrease came language pointing to a higher bar for future easing.

The FOMC removed a key clause that had appeared in post-meeting statements since June saying it was committed to “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.” Powell had used the phase in early June to tee up the July rate cut, and it has been incorporated into the official language since.

In its place was more tempered language.

“The Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook as it assesses the appropriate path of the target range for the federal funds rate,” the statement said.

Market participants had been looking for whether the Fed might start to signal that the policy accommodation, which had come following nine rate hikes since December 2015, would be winding down. The new language suggests an increased level of data dependence rather than an ongoing intent to adjust rates lower. While market pricing had been around 100% for a cut at this meeting, traders had seen only about a 25% probability of a move at the Fed’s next meeting on Dec. 10-11, according to CME data heading into Wednesday’s decision.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-30  Authors: jeff cox
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, powell, indicates, range, policy, rates, cuts, meeting, market, pause, language, funds, fed, federal, cut, rate, ahead, interest


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Lebanon’s government needs to show a ‘resolve for the state to function’: IMF Middle East director

Lebanon’s leaders need to win back the confidence of its citizenry not by announcing reforms, but by their implementation, the International Monetary Fund’s director for the Middle East and Central Asia said. The economist’s advice comes amid the country’s largest protests in 14 years. Lebanon’s banks remain closed eleven days into the mostly peaceful protests, sparking fears of a rush on the banks and a depletion of the country’s dollar reserves once they do finally reopen. To address this fear


Lebanon’s leaders need to win back the confidence of its citizenry not by announcing reforms, but by their implementation, the International Monetary Fund’s director for the Middle East and Central Asia said.
The economist’s advice comes amid the country’s largest protests in 14 years.
Lebanon’s banks remain closed eleven days into the mostly peaceful protests, sparking fears of a rush on the banks and a depletion of the country’s dollar reserves once they do finally reopen.
To address this fear
Lebanon’s government needs to show a ‘resolve for the state to function’: IMF Middle East director Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-28  Authors: natasha turak
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, east, central, reforms, needs, low, director, middle, state, protests, function, dollar, lebanon, resolve, imf, countrys, lebanons, large, funds


Lebanon's government needs to show a 'resolve for the state to function': IMF Middle East director

Lebanese demonstrators raise a large clenched fist with “revolution” written on it at the Martyrs’ Square in the centre of the capital Beirut on October 27, 2019, during ongoing anti-government protests.

Lebanon’s leaders need to win back the confidence of its citizenry not by announcing reforms, but by their implementation, the International Monetary Fund’s director for the Middle East and Central Asia said.

“People are suffering because of the low level of growth, the fact that there is low employment,” Jihad Azour told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in Dubai ahead of the Fund’s release of its quarterly regional outlook.

The economist’s advice comes amid the country’s largest protests in 14 years. Azour, who previously served as Lebanon’s minister of finance from 2005 to 2008, said that if the government dedicates itself to executing functional governance, that translates into better services and job creation. Unemployment in Lebanon currently hovers between 35% and 40%.

“Therefore, I think it’s very important now to stabilize the financial situation by addressing the fiscal imbalances, by providing clear direction of reforms that addresses some of the long lasting issues, the structural problems, and also to show that there is a resolve to have the state function to service the needs and aspirations of the people in the street.”

Lebanon’s banks remain closed eleven days into the mostly peaceful protests, sparking fears of a rush on the banks and a depletion of the country’s dollar reserves once they do finally reopen.

To address this fear, Lebanon has put a temporary ban on taking large amounts of dollar cash out of the country. Many blame Lebanon’s dangerously low foreign currency levels on the policies of its central bank governor Riad Salameh.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-28  Authors: natasha turak
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, east, central, reforms, needs, low, director, middle, state, protests, function, dollar, lebanon, resolve, imf, countrys, lebanons, large, funds


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