J.D. Power & Associates finds that self-directed investors are feeling less satisfied than last year when it comes to the investment firms that they work with for their online trades and related activities: From a possible score of 1,000, the industry average declined by 16 points to 752.
The 2013 U.S. Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study, released Monday, includes the views of 3,619 investors who make investment decisions without the counsel of investment advisors. They were interviewed in January and February about the specific firms that custody their accounts.
Communications seems to be a key area where improvement is needed.
“Investment firms miss an important opportunity to keep self-directed investors informed about fees, investor tools and other product offerings by not communicating in the manner and frequency that investors prefer,” said Craig Martin, director of the wealth management practice at J.D. Power, in a press release.
“Firms need to know how their investors would like to be notified—whether it occurs via email, phone or other means. It’s important to contact investors proactively and at the appropriate frequency based on investor preference.”
Top 10 Companies To Own In Right Now: Rotork(ROR.L)
Rotork p.l.c. engages in the design, manufacture, and support of actuators, systems, and related products worldwide. It provides a range of products, systems, and services for the motorization and manual operation of adaption to industrial valves and dampers for isolation duty and process control applications. The company operates in four segments: Controls, Fluid Systems, Gears, and Instruments. The Controls segment designs, manufactures, and sells various electric valve actuators. The Fluid Systems segment is involved in the design, manufacture, and sale of pneumatic and hydraulic valve actuators. The Gears segment designs, manufactures, and sells gearboxes, adaption, and ancillaries for the valve industry. The Instruments segment offers high precision pneumatic controls and power transmissions for flow control, pressure control, flow measurement, and pressure measurement. The company also provides various services comprising field services, retrofit services, actuator o verhaul, preventative maintenance, shutdown outages, extended scope, spares parts, factory fit, technical support, and product training services. It serves oil and gas, power generation, water and sewage, and marine industries. The company is headquartered in Bath, the United Kingdom.
Top 10 Companies To Own In Right Now: C&C Group(CCR.L)
C&C Group plc manufactures, markets, and distributes branded alcoholic drinks primarily in Ireland, the United Kingdom, rest of Europe, and North America. It offers cider products under the Magners, Bulmers, Gaymers, Blackthorn, Olde English, Addlestones, Special VAT, K, Natch, Diamond White, Hornsby, and St Aubel brands; and beer products under the Tennent?s brand. The company also distributes a range of third party beer and cider brands, and soft drinks; and provides management services. C&C Group plc was founded in 1935 and is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.
Top 10 Tech Companies To Own For 2014: Lake Shore Bancorp Inc.(LSBK)
Lake Shore Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for Lake Shore Savings Bank that provides banking products and services. It offers various deposit products, including regular savings deposits, such as Christmas club, passbook, and statement savings accounts; NOW accounts; money market accounts; interest bearing and non-interest bearing checking accounts; interest bearing and non-interest bearing demand deposits; health savings accounts; retirement accounts; time deposits; and interest on lawyer accounts. The company also provides adjustable-rate and fixed-rate one-to four-family residential mortgage loans, commercial real estate loans, construction loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, and commercial business loans, as well as consumer loans, such as personal loans, home improvement loans, overdraft lines of credit, automobile loans, and guaranteed student loans. It operates nine branch offices in Chautauqua and Erie Counties, New York; and six automated t eller machines. The company was founded in 1891 and is headquartered in Dunkirk, New York. Lake Shore Bancorp, Inc. is a subsidiary of Lake Shore, MHC.
Top 10 Companies To Own In Right Now: Bunge Limited(BG)
Bunge Limited, through its subsidiaries, engages in the agriculture and food businesses worldwide. Its Agribusiness segment is involved in purchasing, storing, transporting, processing, and selling agricultural commodities and commodity products, such as oilseeds and grains, primarily comprising soybeans, rapeseed or canola, sunflower seed, wheat, and corn. This segment serves animal feed manufacturers, wheat and corn millers, third party edible oil processing companies, and other oilseed processors, as well as livestock, poultry, and aquaculture producers. The company?s Sugar and Bioenergy segment produces and sells sugar and ethanol; generates electricity from burning sugarcane bagasse; and trades and merchandises sugar. As of December 31, 2011, this segment had a total installed capacity of approximately 144 megawatts; and sugarcane plantations of approximately 183,000 hectares under cultivation. Its Edible Oil Products segment offers packaged vegetable, including pack aged and bulk oils, shortenings, margarines, mayonnaise, and other products to baked goods companies, snack food producers, restaurant chains, foodservice distributors, and other food manufacturers. The company?s Milling Products segment produces and sells various wheat flours and bakery mixes; corn-based products; corn milling products primarily comprising dry milled corn meals, flours, and grits, as well as soy-fortified corn meal and corn-soy blend; and packaged milled rice. This segment serves industrial, bakery, and foodservice companies; and companies in food processing sector. Its Fertilizer segment produces, blends, and distributes nitrogen, phosphate, and potash formulations used for the cultivation of soybeans, corn, sugarcane, cotton, wheat, and coffee. This segment also produces single super phosphate; and ammonia, urea, and liquid fertilizers for the agriculture industry. Bunge Limited was founded in 1818 and is headquartered in White Plains, New York.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dividends4Life]
Memberships and Peers: ADM is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers��Index and a Dividend Champion. The company's peer group includes: Bunge Limited (BG) with a 1.6% yield, Ingredion Incorporated (INGR) with a 2.4% yield and Griffin Land & Nurseries Inc. (GRIF) with a 0.7% yield.
- [By Maxx Chatsko]
Investors will be on the lookout for further, perhaps larger, customer announcements in the coming quarters. Just remember that there is plenty of time between now and mid-2015. Until then, there should be no worries from the guidance and commercialization aid Solazyme will receive from agri-giants Bunge (NYSE: BG ) and Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE: ADM ) .
- [By David Sterman]
He subsequently closed that position with a nice profit, and he should now check out rival Bunge (NYSE: BG), which in my view, holds better value. (I'll have more to say about Bunge in a separate column in coming weeks).
Top 10 Companies To Own In Right Now: Penn National Gaming Inc.(PENN)
Penn National Gaming, Inc. and its subsidiaries own and manage gaming and pari-mutuel properties in the United States. It operates approximately 27,000 gaming machines; 500 table games; and 2,000 hotel rooms in 23 facilities in 16 jurisdictions, including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ontario. The company was formerly known as PNRC Corp. and changed its name to Penn National Gaming, Inc. in 1994. Penn National Gaming, Inc. was founded in 1982 and is based in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Roberto Pedone]
Penn National Gaming (PENN) is a diversified, multi-jurisdictional owner and manager of gaming and pari-mutuel properties. This stock closed up 1.4% at $56.13 in Monday's trading session.
Monday's Volume: 1.11 million
Three-Month Average Volume: 824,334
Volume % Change: 73%
From a technical perspective, PENN jumped modestly higher here right above some near-term support at $54.71 with above-average volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of PENN within range of triggering a breakout trade. That trade will hit if PENN manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $57.44 to some past resistance at $58 with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in PENN as long as it's trending above Monday's low $55.65 or above more support at $54.71 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that this near or above 824,334 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then PENN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high at $59.93. Any high-volume move above $59.93 will then give PENN a chance to hit $65.
Top 10 Companies To Own In Right Now: Transcontinental Realty Investors Inc.(TCI)
Transcontinental Realty Investors, Inc. acquires, develops, and owns residential and commercial real estate properties through acquisitions, leases, and partnerships in the United States. The company leases apartment units to residents; leases office, industrial, and retail space to various for-profit businesses, as well as to local, state, and federal agencies; and leases trade show and exhibit space to temporary, as well as long-term tenants. In addition, its real estate properties consist of commercial properties, including office buildings, industrial warehouses, and shopping centers; apartments; and new properties, such as apartment homes. Further, the company invests in unimproved land and apartment development and construction, and mortgage loans on real estate, including first, and wraparound and junior mortgage loans. Additionally, it originates its mortgage loans, and acquires existing mortgage notes directly from builders, developers, and property owners, as wel l as through mortgage banking firms, commercial banks, and other qualified brokers. As of September 30, 2008, its properties consisted of 29 commercial buildings, including 20 office buildings, 5 commercial warehouses, and 4 retail centers; 51 apartment communities; and 7,425 acres of developed and undeveloped land. The company was founded in 1983 and headquartered in Dallas, Texas.
Top 10 Companies To Own In Right Now: Clearwire Corporation(CLWR)
Clearwire Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides fourth generation wireless broadband services in the United States. The company builds and operates mobile broadband networks that offer high-speed mobile Internet and residential Internet access services. It serves retail customers through its CLEAR brand. The company markets its products and services directly to consumers, as well as through cellular retailers, consumer electronics stores, satellite television dealers, and computer sales and repair stores; and through company-operated retail outlets. As of December 31, 2011, it had approximately 1.3 million retail and 9.1 million wholesale subscribers. The company is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. Clearwire Corporation is a subsidiary of Sprint HoldCo LLC.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Michael Lewis]
The ongoing battle for spectrum-laden telecommunications firm Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR ) has taken a turn from superiority arguments to that of legality. This week, majority equity owner and financier (as well as a pending takeover target) Sprint (NYSE: S ) alleged that challenging bidder DISH Network (NASDAQ: DISH ) not only offers an inferior bid to Clearwire shareholders, but that it cannot legally be done. Unsurprisingly, DISH management was quick to disagree. For investors in all three companies, the news has some important implications. Here's what you need to know.
- [By Anders Bylund]
Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S ) wants to buy Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR ) . DISH Network� (NASDAQ: DISH ) also wants to buy Clearwire -- or Sprint, if the Clearwire deal falls through. Japanese network operator SoftBank is putting up its dukes for a fight over Sprint, though. And if all else fails, DISH is building its own portfolio of radio spectrum licenses.
Top 10 Companies To Own In Right Now: RTI Biologics Inc.(RTIX)
RTI Biologics, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, produces orthopedic and other surgical implants that repair and promote the natural healing of human bone and other human tissues. The company processes donated human musculoskeletal and other tissues, including bone, cartilage, tendon, ligament, fascia lata, pericardium, sclera, and dermal tissues, as well as bovine animal tissues to produce allograft and xenograft implants by utilizing its proprietary BIOCLEANSE and TUTOPLAST sterilization processes It processes and distributes human and bovine animal tissues for use in the fields of sports medicine, spine, dental, surgical specialties, bone graft substitutes, and general orthopedic. RTI Biologics, Inc. markets its products through its direct distribution force, as well as through a network of independent distributors to hospitals and surgeons in the United States and 30 countries internationally. The company was formerly known as Regeneration Technologies, Inc. and c hanged its name to RTI Biologics, Inc. as a result of its merger with Tutogen Medical, Inc. in February 2008. RTI Biologics, Inc. was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Alachua, Florida.
Top 10 Companies To Own In Right Now: International Business Machines Corporation(IBM)
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. Its Global Technology Services segment provides IT infrastructure and business process services, including strategic outsourcing, process, integrated technology, and maintenance services, as well as technology-based support services. The company?s Global Business Services segment offers consulting and systems integration, and application management services. Its Software segment offers middleware and operating systems software, such as WebSphere software to integrate and manage business processes; information management software for database and enterprise content management, information integration, data warehousing, business analytics and intelligence, performance management, and predictive analytics; Tivoli software for identity management, data security, storage management, and datacenter automation; Lotus software for collaboration, messaging, and so cial networking; rational software to support software development for IT and embedded systems; business intelligence software, which provides querying and forecasting tools; SPSS predictive analytics software to predict outcomes and act on that insight; and operating systems software. Its Systems and Technology segment provides computing and storage solutions, including servers, disk and tape storage systems and software, point-of-sale retail systems, and microelectronics. The company?s Global Financing segment provides lease and loan financing to end users and internal clients; commercial financing to dealers and remarketers of IT products; and remanufacturing and remarketing services. It serves financial services, public, industrial, distribution, communications, and general business sectors. The company was formerly known as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. and changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation in 1924. IBM was founded in 1910 and is based in Armonk, New York.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Matt Thalman]
Shares of IBM (NYSE: IBM ) have dropped 1% following a report that the company is battling with Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) over a $600 million contract to setup the CIA's cloud-computing system. IBM has long been the go-to supplier for this type of service, but as Amazon has built its own systems and proven itself in the IT world over the past few years, Big Blue now has some formidable competition. To lose the contract would be a huge blow to IBM but an even bigger boon to Amazon.�
- [By John Maxfield]
Alternatively, the worst performing stock on the blue-chip index at the time of writing is IBM (NYSE: IBM ) , down 2.6% in mid-afternoon trading. As my colleague Dan Dzombak pointed out, the impetus here stemmed from worse-than-expected quarterly results from its competitor Accenture (NYSE: ACN ) . For its fiscal third quarter, Accenture marginally beat expectations on the bottom line with earnings per share of $1.14, but missed on the top line with revenue of $7.2 billion. The concern for IBM is that it will have a similar experience in terms of sales and thereby miss analyst estimates for its own upcoming quarter.
- [By Tim Brugger]
There were a couple items IBM (NYSE: IBM ) fans could point to as positives following its recent earnings release. For one, IBM handily beat analyst non-GAAP earnings estimates last quarter -- $3.91 a share for Q2 compared to the $3.78-a-share average analysts were expecting. IBM subsequently raised its non-GAAP annual earnings expectations to about $16.90 a share in lieu of the $16.70 forecast earlier this year.
Top 10 Companies To Own In Right Now: BlackRock Inc (BLK)
BlackRock, Inc. (BlackRock) is an independent investment management firm. The Company provides a range of investment and risk management services. The Company serves its clients as a fiduciary, and derives all of its revenues from client business. It invests in capital markets globally. Its clients include taxable, tax-exempt and official institutions (including pension funds, endowments, insurance companies, corporations, financial institutions, central banks and sovereign wealth funds) as well as retail investors and high net worth individuals. Its product range includes single- and multi-asset class portfolios investing in equities, fixed income, alternatives and/or money market instruments. It offer its products directly and through intermediaries in a range of vehicles, including open-end and closed-end mutual funds, iShares exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other exchange-traded products ( ETPs), collective investment funds and separate accounts. The Company also offers its BlackRock Solutions (BRS) investment systems, risk management and advisory services to institutional investors. In March 2012, it acquired Claymore Investments, Inc. from Guggenheim Partners, LLC.
Equity and Fixed Income
Equity and fixed income assets under management (AUM) include a range of active and passive strategies. Merger-related outflows in equities and fixed income, respectively, due to manager concentration.
BlackRock�� multi-asset class team manages a range of bespoke mandates. Investment solutions include a combination of long-only portfolios and alternative investments, as well as tactical asset allocation overlays. As of December 31, 2011, institutional investors represented 63% of multi-asset class AUM, while retail and high net worth investors accounted for 37%. Flows were almost evenly split as well. During the year ended December 31, 2011, with 55% of multi-asset class AUM managed for clients based in the Americas, 38% in Europe, the Mi! ddle East and Africa (EMEA) and 7% in Asia-Pacific. As of December 31, 2011, asset allocation and balanced products represented 56% of multi-asset class AUM. As of December 31, 2011, fiduciary management services accounted for 22% of multi-asset class AUM. As of December 31, 2011, target date and target risk funds is 22% of multi-asset class AUM.
As of December 31, 2011, the alternative investment client base was predominantly institutional, representing 73% of alternatives AUM with retail and high net worth investors comprising an additional 9% of AUM. As of December31, 2011, iShares consisted 18% of ending AUM. The geographic mix was well diversified, with 56% of AUM managed for clients in the Americas, 22% for clients in EMEA and 22% for clients in Asia-Pacific. The BlackRock Alternative Investors (BAI) group coordinates its alternative investment efforts, including product management, business development and client service. The products offered under the BAI umbrella are: core, which includes hedge funds, funds of funds and real estate offerings, and currency and commodities. Offerings include high yield debt and core, value-added and opportunistic equity portfolios. It also offers open-end hedge funds and similar products and closed-end funds. These products include a range of active and passive products managed through institutional separate accounts.
Cash Management and Securities Lending
Cash management products include taxable and tax-exempt money market funds and customized separate accounts. Portfolios may be denominated in the United States dollar, euro or pound sterling. As of December 31, 20110, its cash management clientele is institutional, with 84% of cash AUM managed for institutions and 16% for retail and high net worth investors. The investor base was also domestic, with 70% managed for investors in the Americas and 30% for clients in other regions, almost all EMEA-based.
! The Company offers two types of active strategies: those that rely primarily on fundamental research and those that utilize primarily quantitative models to drive security selection and portfolio construction. As of December 31, 2011, active long-term AUM consisted of 23% equities, 52% fixed income, 18% multi-asset and 7% alternatives.
A range of products are offered, including global and regional portfolios; value, growth and core products; large, mid and small cap strategies, and selected sector funds. BlackRock manages active equity portfolios for a range of institutional and retail and high net worth investors globally. Approximately 48% of its active equity AUM was managed for investors based in the Americas, 38% in EMEA and 14% in Asia-Pacific.
Active Fixed Income
Fixed income mandates are tailored to client-specified liabilities, accounting, regulatory or rating agency requirements, or other investment policies. As of December 31, 2011, of BlackRock�� total active fixed income AUM, 81% was managed on behalf of institutional investors and 19% for retail and high net worth investors. The client base reflects 70% of active fixed income AUM managed for investors in the Americas, 21% for EMEA domiciled clients, and 9% for investors in the Asia-Pacific region.
Multi-Asset and Alternatives
During 2011, 97% of AUM in multi-asset class mandates, and 76% of AUM in alternative investments are managed in active strategies. As of December 31, 2011, equity products consisted 64% of institutional index AUM. Fixed income products represented 35% of institutional index AUM. Less than 1% of institutional index AUM is in alternatives or multi-asset class products.
iShares / ETPs
During 2011, the Company introduced 45 new ETPs, maintaining dual commitment innovation and responsible product structuring. Its product range offers investors the building blocks required to assemble diversified portfolio! s. As of ! December 31, 2011, its iShares product mix included 71%, in equity offerings, and 26%, in fixed income ETPs and 3%, in multi-asset class and alternative investments. In addition, the Company is an ETF manager in Mexico and has products in Chile, Peru, Brazil, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan. In addition, the Company is the ETP manager in Latin America.
BlackRock offers investment systems, risk management, outsourcing and advisory services under the BlackRock Solutions brand name. Its Aladdin operating platform serves as the investment system for BlackRock and institutional investors globally. BRS also offers comprehensive risk reporting through the Green Package and risk management advisory services, interactive fixed income analytics through its Web-based calculator, AnSer, middle and back office outsourcing services and investment accounting. Clients have also retained BRS��Financial Markets Advisory (FMA) group for a range of engagements, such as valuation and risk assessment of illiquid assets, portfolio restructuring, workouts and dispositions of distressed assets and financial and balance sheet strategies.
Transition Management Services
BlackRock also offers transition management services, involving the temporary oversight of a client�� assets as they transition from one manager to another or from one strategy to another. It provides service that includes project management and implementation based on achieving execution consistent with the client�� risk management tolerances. The average transition assignment is executed within three weeks. These portfolios are not included in AUM unless BlackRock has been retained to manage the assets after the transition phase.
Risk & Quantitative Analysis
Across all asset classes, the Risk & Quantitative Analysis (RQA) group at BlackRock provides risk management advice and independent risk oversight of the investment management processes, identifies and hel! ps manage! counterparty and operational risks, coordinates standards for firm wide investment performance measurement and determines risk management-related analytical and information requirements.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Chuck Carnevale]
Blackrock Inc. (BLK)
Blackrock Inc is the world�� largest asset manager serving individuals and institutions from all over the world. Since calendar year 2000 Blackrock has achieved a superior record of earnings growth averaging 21.6% per annum. Since earnings drive market price in the long run, their stock price has followed suit.
- [By Tim Higgins]
State Street, a financial holding company based in Boston, was the second-largest buyer of GM during the quarter, with 17.4 million shares, followed by Warren Buffett�� Berkshire (BRK/A) Hathaway acquiring 15 million shares, BlackRock Inc. (BLK)�� 13.9 million and Vanguard Group Inc.�� 11.7 million.