Barron's Recap (7/28/12): Financial Advisory Teams are the Future
This weekend in Barron's online: profiles of five top financial advisory teams, the prospects for Agilent Tech, Farmer Brothers and Buffalo Wild Wings.
"Top Advisor Teams" by Steve Garmhausen. Whether your financial advisor is part of a Wall Street firm or an independent outfit, he or she likely has a team of pros that make everything run smoothly. Given the increased demands from their clientele, many of whom are still smarting from the financial collapse in 2008, financial advisement teams are becoming increasingly popular. They may include a chief investment officer, a retirement planner, an accountant, one or more assistant advisors and perhaps even a few traders, and teams may have more than 20 members. Barron's profiles five of the nation's best teams. They are found not just in New York and Los Angeles, but also in Cleveland and in Florida. Each team has its own structure and approach, but they all are responding to the same thing: clients who demand more varied services. As the principal at one of the featured firms puts it, the question the clients always have is "What have you done for me lately?"
Richard C. Morais's "The Flaws in an Advisor Listing for the Superrich" gets to the heart of how the Family Office Exchange, a pillar of the wealth-management industry, stumbled when it named the best advisors for great fortunes.
"The West Coast Was the Right Coast" by Vito J. Racanelli looks at two regional brokers, Wedbush Securities and McAdams Wright Ragen, that topped the semiannual Barron's-Zack's ranking of brokers' stock-pick lists.
In "Around the World, Agilent Measures Up," Christopher C. Williams examines the prospects for Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A), which has become a leader in the growing market for test and measurement products.
Farmer Brothers (NASDAQ: FARM) could return to the black as coffee-bean prices tumble, suggests "A Coffee Seller Perks Up" by David Englander. The company also has smart acquisitions and a strong balance sheet on its side.
"It's a Balancing Act" by Lawrence C. Strauss turns the CEO spotlight on Miles White, who has held the reins at Abbot Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) for 13 years.
Erin E. Arvedlund's "Looking for Trouble" is a profile of hedge-fund manager Peter Schoenfeld, who among other things explains why European bank debt and Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) hold appeal.
There is trouble ahead for Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), suggests Douglas Kass of Seabreeze Partners, who is interviewed in "Bearish on Brokers, Bullish on Housing" by Leslie P. Norton.
In "Buffalo Wild Wings Lays an Egg," Jacqueline Doherty discusses the causes and the likely consequences of the disappointing second-quarter earnings from casual-dining chain Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ: BWLD).
"The Politics of Productivity" is an editorial commentary by Thomas G. Donlan on whether economic cooperation creates political obligation.
Columns in this weekend's Barron's discuss:
- Sandy Weill's call for the return of Glass-Steagall
- Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook's candor
- New online tools for uncovering the value of stocks
- Whether it is time to get out of agriculture ETFs
- What the weak second-quarter GDP growth rate means
- Three companies boosting their dividends
- Why companies top analysts' earnings estimates so frequently
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