With investment processes and strategies growing ever more indistinguishable, artificial intelligence (AI) can help unlock machine-aided growth while balancing human desires with what's technically feasible and financially viable, says David Townsend, CFA.
Americans are a cost-conscious lot. We all like a good deal. And that's become especially clear when it comes to investing. In almost every governance survey of asset owners, investment expenses have emerged as one of the top three concerns.
The finance industry, long plagued by public distrust, has reached a tipping point, says Stephen Davis. The public’s anger, fueled by a belief that investors have been unjustly “separated from their money,” has helped to usher in a new “discipline of ownership.”
“Responsible investment” has nothing to do with nebulous moral considerations — it’s all about generating sustainable financial returns, says Sandra Carlisle of Newton Investment Management. Understanding three different levels of a company's profile can help to identify and avoid bad actors, bridging the gap between values-based investing and prudent fiduciary duty.
Thomas Piketty’s popular new book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” has struck a chord with the public in part because of a growing disenchantment with the generous compensation packages lavished on corporate executives, so it was not without irony that last week 83% of Coca-Cola’sshareholders approved a controversial equity compensation plan for approximately 6,500 employees that had been widely panned as excessive.
Effective corporate governance is, no doubt, an ongoing challenge among all companies but especially within financial firms. Conflicting incentives elicit stark agency problems among the various stakeholders. Of course, within financial firms, executives and their boards control virtually every decision the company makes, affecting multiple stakeholder groups.
The Enron collapse now seems like a distant memory, and its scale is so tiny compared to the 2008–09 financial crisis that it almost feels like it wasn't really that bad. But it was.
Most studies of the impact of family ownership indicate that, on balance, family control is a good thing for stockholders. And Warren Buffett agrees, saying, "Family-owned businesses share our long-term orientation, belief in hard work, and a no-nonsense approach and respect for a strong corporate culture."
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