Seeking to bring fresh talent into the ranks of its thundering herd, Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch has boosted starting salaries for its financial adviser trainees by $10,000 and has hired 1,700 new trainees so far this year.
Below, some of the best analysis and insight from WSJ writers and columnists, the Dow Jones Newswires team and occasionally beyond, on investing, the wealth-management business and more.
PLANNING & INVESTING
Money Managers Gain Sway Over Muni Market: The rapid expansion of muni money managers, under way for more than a decade, reached a milestone in the past year: More than half of the total amount of muni bonds held by households—a third of the $4 trillion market—now sits in separately managed accounts or mutual funds.
From Dow Jones Newswires
Investors are sending mixed messages about what their priorities are with energy companies, says Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell PLC. Speaking at the Oil & Money conference in London, he says, “there is total inconsistency in what investors tell you except for one thing, that is can you please sustain the dividend.” Shell has to help investors understand it is not just an oil-and-gas extraction company, explaining the chemicals and power markets for instance, he says. “We have to close the gap otherwise we will never be fully valued.”
Sterling volatility is likely to persist amid concerns about the U.K. leaving the EU without a deal, says Kleinwort Hambros, the wealth management unit of Societe Generale. GBP/USD rose on a parliamentary vote to block a no-deal Brexit but the currency pair’s gains have since reversed as hopes of an agreement before the Oct. 31 deadline fade. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will need to request another delay to Brexit if he fails to secure a deal by Oct. 19. “While sterling is undervalued, Brexit news will dominate volatile trading around current levels for now,” says Kleinwort’s Fahad Kamal. GBP/USD is last up 0.01% at 1.2226.
BUSINESS & PRACTICE
New Cocoa-Pricing Method Makes for a Hot Commodity: Cocoa prices are surging as traders grapple with a new method for pricing exports designed to alleviate poverty among farmers in Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world’s largest growers of the chocolate ingredient.
Miners’ New Worry: Other People’s Pollution: Global miners have spent years trying to shrink their carbon footprint. Now they face the threat of lost business if they don’t help customers do the same.
Social Media Can’t Afford to Forget Mom and Dad: Children and teenagers don’t earn much money themselves, but that has never stopped advertisers from targeting them, as they can influence their household’s spending in a major way.
TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE
Secret Manhattan Condo Purchases Are Dead, Thanks to a Suburban Squabble: A new state law threatens legions of billionaires, celebrities and other privacy-seeking condo owners: Every buyer’s name will be publicly available under the state’s Freedom of Information Law.
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