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Wealth managers believe human touch will limit the rise of robo-advisers

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When Mark Simmons was in college, he asked one of his teachers, a bank president, whether the growing prevalence of online banking might make jobs in banking obsolete. The answer: Absolutely not. In fact, people might even need bankers even more. Now a financial planner and portfolio manager in Baton Rouge, Simmons recalls that conversation when asked if computerized investment services, also known as robo-advisers, are a threat to his industry. Most investors will prefer working with a human, he says. “Money is such an emotional thing that most people have trouble trusting to a computer-generated plan,” says Simmons, president…

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Investors should consider higher interest rates very carefully in 2016

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On Dec. 4, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that the economy had added some 211,000 jobs in November, more than analysts had predicted. The government also revised previous numbers to show that more jobs were created in September and October than originally estimated. So it seemed almost inevitable that the Federal Reserve finally would feel confident enough about the economy to begin raising interest rates at its December meeting. By the time you read this you’ll know whether it happened or not; experts have been incorrectly predicting higher rates for years now. But even if the Fed defied expectations…

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Ken Fisher: ‘Fool’s game’ to time this market

Recent erratic trading resembles the emerging market driven correction in 1997, but it may not spell an end to the bull market, noted investor Ken Fisher said Tuesday. "The likelihood is that we have more pain ahead and that it's over just as fast as it began. But trying to time that is a fool's game," said Fisher, CEO of Fisher Investments, in a CNBC "Closing Bell" interview. Weakness in China spooked investors again Tuesday, as major U.S. averages dipped nearly 3 percent to close in correction, or 10 percent lower than their…

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Average Investor 20 Year Return Astoundingly Awful

The average investor's 20 year annualized return is astounding simply because of how awful it was. According to an analysis by Dalbar, the average investor earned 2.1% over the twenty year period ended Dec. 31, 2011. How did this compare to other asset classes? To make it very simple, the S&P 500 returned 7.8%, while the Barclays Capital US Aggregate Bond Index returned 6.5% over the same time period. A 50/50 blend of these two asset classes would have yielded a nominal annualized return of 7.2%. Wait, it gets even worse. After including inflation, the average investor got a negative…

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Why Everything You Think About Aging May Be Wrong

Everyone knows that as we age, our minds and bodies decline—and life inevitably becomes less satisfying and enjoyable. Everyone knows that cognitive decline is inevitable. Everyone knows that as we get older, we become less productive at work. Everyone, it seems, is wrong. Contrary to the stereotype of later life as a time of loneliness, depression and decline, a growing body of scientific research shows that, in many ways, life gets better as we get older. “The story used to be that satisfaction with life went downhill, but the remarkable thing that researchers are finding is that doesn’t seem to…

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