WSJ Wealth Adviser Briefing: Fidelity’s Client Challenge, Private-Equity Deals, Families Talk Money

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Liz Ann Sonders doesn’t fit the usual mold of chief investment strategist for a number of reasons, perhaps the biggest one being that her outlooks and commentary aren’t written for professional investors focused on price targets and short-term “alpha generators.” Sonders has, for the past 20 years, geared her analysis specifically toward individual investors at Charles Schwab. We asked Sonders for her take on the current environment and what 2021 might bring. 

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.


Covid-19 Shipping Problems Squeeze China’s Exporters: Surging demand in the West and port delays drive up costs for companies that have fueled the country’s economic recovery.


Stock Market Rally in 2020 Easily Outpaced Luxury Goods, Hedge Funds: The Nasdaq index jumped nearly 43%, compared with average rise of 6.3% across hedge funds and 5.9% increase in value of classic cars.


From Dow Jones Newswires

US airlines are already prepped for a miserable January and February, though a new survey from analysts at Stifel does note a relative improvement in demand conditions in the Midwest and the Northeast, countering weakening in the South and the West. Airline stocks all marked slightly higher in pre-open trade, with Delta CEO Ed Bastian telling staff in a memo that it still expects to reach cash break even in the spring, having previously dropped its year-end target. (; @dougcameron)

Tight trucking capacity has retailers and manufacturers girding for higher shipping costs in 2021, Stephens says. Shippers surveyed by the firm expect truckload contract rates to increase by 6.9% on average this year, while less-than-truckload rates are expected to rise 4.4%. “With structural constraints to industry driver capacity expected to persist well beyond the resolution of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Stephens says 58% of shippers expect the market will support additional rate hikes in 2022. (; @JenSmithWSJ)


Private Equity Expected to Drive More Deals in 2021: Pent-up demand, cheap debt and the race to deploy dry powder will be behind the renewed push.

Fidelity’s Challenge Is to Turn Day Traders Into Longtime Clients: Firm hopes new investors will graduate to more lucrative offerings such as financial advice.


Proposed OCC Banking Rule Restricts Climate Risk Management: The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s proposed rule that would restrict the freedom of banks to not fund certain projects and sectors, such as fossil fuels, would curb climate risk management in banking, says Ceres, a sustainable finance nonprofit that has voiced opposition to the change along with banking associations and institutional investors. “This proposed rule is an outrageous last-ditch attempt to obstruct progress to address climate change as a systemic financial risk,” Steven Rothstein of Ceres says. “Any proposal that would make it harder for banks to mitigate their exposure to climate risk jeopardizes efforts to maintain sustainable capital markets and to build a more resilient economy,” he says.


For Many CIOs, 2020’s Digital Acceleration Was Only the Beginning: Technology and processes deployed during the pandemic set the stage for future digital efforts.


Small Ways to Have a Money Talk With Family and Friends: Realize you may need more than one conversation and know it may get easier in time.


The Wealth Adviser Briefing covers topics of interest to wealth managers, financial planners and other advisers. The content is curated by the Dow Jones Newswires team using articles from the Newswires, Barron’s, MarketWatch and The Wall Street Journal. The briefing is delivered to subscribers by email each workday morning at 6:30 a.m. ET. You can sign up here for email delivery.

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