Capital Markets Revolutionary Becomes Promiscuous Investor

Northwest Mutual Funds Eyes Merger Northwest Mutual Funds wants to merge the Northwest Specialty Resource Fund into Northwest Specialty Equity Fund, pending unitholder and regulatory approval.3 Plansponsor.comAFBA 5Star Funds Increases its Family AFBA 5Star Funds has recently added the AFBA

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Northwest Mutual Funds Eyes Merger
Northwest Mutual Funds wants to merge the Northwest Specialty Resource Fund into Northwest Specialty Equity Fund, pending unitholder and regulatory approval.3-Plansponsor.comAFBA 5Star Funds Increases its Family
AFBA 5Star Funds has recently added the AFBA 5Star Small Cap Fund and AFBA 5Star Science & Technology Fund to its family. The funds are sub-advised by Kornitzer Capital Management and are now available for certain retirement plans.3-Plansponsor.comInvestment Company Institute Releases Mutual Fund Review
The Investment Company Institute, the leading authority on the US mutual fund industry, has released its annual review. Surprisingly, it finds that retail investors have remained committed despite weak equity markets, the events of September 11 and the worst returns from mutual fund investing for six years. Mutual funds distributed an estimated $72 billion in capital gains to shareholders in 2001, the lowest level since 1995 and down significantly from an unprecedented $326 billion in 2000 and the generally high distributions of the past decade.Mutual funds actually reported a record net inflow of $504 billion, up from $389 billion in 2000 and the previous record of $477 billion in 1998. Nor did the money flow into money marketor bond funds only. During the year all fund categories-stock, hybrid, bond, and money market-reported inflows. As aresult, despite plunging market values, total mutual fund assets stood at $6.97 trillion at the end of 2001, virtually unchanged from $6.96 trillion as the year began. The record inflows of new cash simply offset negative equity performance throughout much of 2001, the second year in succession of fallling equity prices. However, the pace of new fund formation did slow down in 2001. On balance, fund sponsors created 165 new funds, down from 365 in 2000. Several fund complexes involved in mergers in recent years also continued to streamline their product offerings by combining funds with overlapping investment objectives. The report includes final 2001 year-end data for fund assets and flows, a review of fund industry trends, and an analysis of mutual fund shareholder reaction to last year’s bear market and the events of September 11. The full report is available here.Global Double Crossing – Vulgar Abuse of Management…?
Global Crossing, the network services provider to which SWIFT out-sourced its telecommunications needs last year, may be in Chapter 11 only but the company is already developing the first symptoms of Enronitis: web sites penned by angry investors and/or shareholders. See just how vulgar abuse of management can get by checking out http://www.globaldoublecrossing.comIslamic Conference: Who is Prepared To Brave Shoe-Bombers?
High marks for chutzpah go to Dow Jones for organising a conference on Islamic investment strategies in Dubai between 17 and 19 March. The shopping in the Emirate is famously good, and the organisers are surely right to believe that investing in Islamic countries will make the world a much safer place, but will those fund managers, institutional investors and financial journalists prepared to brave shoe-bombers and other hazards of flying today really want to pay $2,495 to attend a conference in the Gulf on Islamic investment strategies? Financing Islamic terrorism would surely be more topical.
Details in Events CalendarCapital Markets Revolutionary Becomes Promiscuous Investor
Patrick Young, scourge of exchange establishments throughout Europe, is back on the warpath. In 1999 Young published The Capital Markets Revolution, a lively, best-selling and highly influential account of the future of securities and derivatives trading which used the near-death experience of LIFFE (whose failure to switch from open outcry to electronic trading did more to create Eurex – and therefore Deutsche Borse – than any other single factor) as a fable about how not to react to liberalisation and technological change.(“No Small Change”, Global Custodian, Spring 2000)
Now Young has published what he calls a “management report.” But few such documents would hazard as racy a title as the one he has chosen: The Promiscuous Investor: Can Intermediaries Survive the Capital Market Revolution? His target, as before, is the stock exchange and derivatives establishment. And his contempt for their ability to handle change is as acidic as ever. He claims that their plans to carpet the world with liquid electronic marketplaces have omitted to take account of a killer constraint (lack of bandwidth); ignored left-field competitors (especially from the media: a business price discovery mechanisms such as exchanges are also in); and so emphasised technology at the expense of their real business ( attracting liquidity by the quality of their content: prices). Young argues that traditional exchanges can no longer count on the pulling power of their reputations (or what he calls brands) and need to start thinking economically rather than politically (and fast), especially when market participants are tiring of funding competing electronic marketplaces all over the shop. To read a synopsis of this “management report” written by the great man himself, click HERE And if you like that, you will probably also like”MONSTER mash”, Global Custodian, Summer 2000