Sunday, May 17, 2015

Slow Saturday Special: Female Fidelity

Just whi$pering it in your ear:

"Financial advice customized by sex, ethnicity, demographics" by Tara Siegel Bernard, New York Times  February 21, 2015

NEW YORK — When a woman calls Fidelity about her investments there, her questions are likely to be handled a bit differently from those asked by a man.

Customer service representatives are more likely to chitchat to establish rapport. And they may frame the conversation around her longer-term goals or the important people in her life — perhaps a child with a college savings account, or an elderly parent. The representative may ask more open-ended questions.

Women will ultimately receive the same guidance that would be offered to similarly situated men — but when appropriate, the representative’s conversational style may differ. Fidelity said its goal was not to patronize women or to wrap its mutual funds and services in frilly pink bows. Instead, it says it wants to connect with different people — including women — about savings and investing in a way that will resonate, based on findings from its internal research and analysis.

“With men, many want a Reader’s Digest conversation — they want what they came for,” said Jeanne Thompson, a vice president at Fidelity who was involved in the research. “However, reps realize that women appreciate hearing what it means for them and want a deeper explanation.”

Fidelity, which provides employer-based retirement accounts for more than 13 million workers, and other retirement plan providers have begun tailoring their messages for specific employees — including women, but also Hispanics, members of specific generations or income groups, or those, say, who may be borrowing significant sums from their 401(k) plans. Other providers are testing ways to nudge workers to save more with just one click.

“What we are seeing is a big uptick in the number of organizations that are thinking more broadly about financial wellness and understanding it’s not a one-size-fits-all plan that will get results,” said Betsy Dill, a partner at Mercer, a consulting firm. “They have to think about how to segment and micro-target their work force at different points along the way.”

There are a lot of headlines about how women aren’t as comfortable with money as their male counterparts, but the research is mixed.

They like charge cards, right?

The financial services industry conducts plenty of self-serving surveys reinforcing stereotypes, but they’re trying to capture women’s business: More women are their household’s primary breadwinner, and they control trillions of dollars.

Self-serving surveys that reinforce stereotypes. I see a lot of those in my new$paper.

And among women with access to retirement plans? They are doing just fine when compared with their male counterparts, raising questions about whether any special handling is warranted. In fact, some research has found that certain differences in behavior are hinged less to gender and more to socioeconomic status.

So why the special treatment at Fidelity?

I can think of one rea$on.

“A lot of this is in reaction to research around the sentiment and confidence of women,” Thompson of Fidelity added. “But a lot of this is because many women are the heads of households and they are the breadwinners.”


Were you $educed by the sales pitch? 

What if they paid you for it?

"Fidelity offers to pay customers for new IRA business" by Beth Healy, Globe Staff  February 26, 2015

Fidelity Investments wants your IRA business enough to pay you for it.

The Boston-based investment giant said Wednesday it’s rolling out an offer to pay customers for moving at least $10,000 into a new or existing Fidelity retirement account and then contributing more money to it annually. The dollar-matching offer — up to 10 percent of the additional contributions — would be paid over the next three years.

For example, a customer who transfers $500,000 into a Fidelity IRA from another investment firm would qualify for a 10 percent match on future contributions. On annual contributions of $5,500, the customer would get a $550 match per year.

The rich getting richer. Do you have half-a-million to move over or thousands to contribute? The little money I have is tied up in staying alive.

Fidelity, the largest IRA provider, believes the offer is the first of its kind. It’s not unlike the deals cellphone carriers and banks sometimes promote to encourage consumers to switch service.

See: Banks Love You

They are sure a $crewing enough of us. 

But there’s potentially more money at stake with a retirement account.

“It takes a lot to have someone switch,” said James Lowell, editor of the independent newsletter Fidelity Investor. For customers to consider it, he said, Fidelity must “make a credible case for their incentive — in addition to the pitch of the necessity of saving for retirement.”

The match does not apply to rollovers from 401(k) or 403(b) plans, which indicates Fidelity is really looking to take business away from IRA competitors.

So much for the altrui$tic pitching in!

It also seems to be trying to attract people who already have healthy nest eggs.

The whole society is now geared to serving elite wealth. Why should this be any different?

Fidelity’s offer is considerably more modest for customers moving smaller balances. A $10,000 account, for instance, would get a 1 percent match. And $2,000 annual contributions made after that would reap just $20.

F*** Fidelity!!!!!

Lauren Brouhard, senior vice president for retirement at Fidelity, declined to say how much the program might cost the company. She said Fidelity decided an incentive could work in the same way employer matches encourage workers to contribute to their 401(k) accounts.

Then why have most employers stopped doing that?

“Helping people get over procrastination and create new habits is really what’s going to help them over the long term,’’ Brouhard said.

Oh, look, more agenda-pushing, culture-$hifting mind manipulation. 


Gee, I have always been told women are more honest and their wouldn't be any wars if women were in charge.

"Fidelity posts records on revenues, profit in 2014" by Beth Healy, Globe Staff  February 12, 2015

Mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments said its revenue and operating profit rose to record highs in 2014, a year of strong financial markets. 

Contributing to the inequality yawn, I'm $ure.

Even as Fidelity continues to add digital bells and whistles for its customers who trade and do other business online, it also invested in human interactions. It hosted 3,000 investor seminars in its offices.

The firm continues to add services for wealthy customers, including opening a West Coast location for its Family Office business, serving high net-worth investors in Silicon Valley.

The firm said its managed account offerings, for wealthier investors, “were a bright spot.’’ 

Yeah. None of the rest of us have any money. If we did, we would be out shopping at the mall, going to movies, eating at McDonald's. None of that is happening.



"Fidelity Management & Research LLC added shares of Apple Inc. last quarter, sold stock in AbbVie Inc., and exited GrubHub Inc. The investment manager added 5.8 million shares of Apple and the value of its stake increased by $2.21 billion to $18.7 billion as of Dec. 31, the biggest gain among previously disclosed holdings, according to a quarterly filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Fidelity cut its holdings of AbbVie by 46.9 million shares, leaving 33 million shares valued at $2.16 billion, a decline of 53 percent. The firm liquidated its $80.7 million investment in GrubHub, selling 2.36 million shares."

I'm no longer hungry for AbbVie, and look at the color of the water they gave you to drink:

"Why mutual funds want their own trading ‘dark pool’" by Beth Healy, Globe Staff  February 04, 2015

Luminex is an alternative trading system known as a “dark pool,” a place where investment managers can trade large blocks of shares without showing their hand to rivals and moving stock prices in the process.


There are 40 dark pools, or alternative trading systems, tracked by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. They commanded nearly 16 percent of total US stock trading volume in November, according to Rosenblatt Securities Inc., a New York trading firm that tracks dark pools.

The Luminex group hopes to encourage hundreds of investment firms to use the new system, well beyond its nine founding owners, which also include Boston’s State Street Global Advisors, BNY Mellon, T. Rowe Price, and JP Morgan Asset Management.

Look at all the criminal banks swimming around in there.

Related: State Street expects Fed enforcement over compliance failure

Maybe you should take stock in that before buying.

One notable name not on the list so far: The Vanguard Group, the world’s largest mutual fund company.


Related: War in Wa$hington 

Abby made how much?

UPDATE: Fidelity managing $35 billion more in retirement assets

Also seeFidelity gets subsidies to add 600 jobs in N.C. 

I don't know how you ladies feel about it, but some are calling it unethical.