The Long View
The Long View
Jun 12, 2019
Aron Szapiro: 'You Can't Fix What You Can't Measure'
51 min

Is there a retirement crisis in the United States, and what role does the government have in improving the system? What's the current status of a fiduciary standard for financial advice? 

Aron Szapiro, Morningstar's director of policy research and our guest for The Long View podcast, obsesses over these topics. In his role, he and his team conduct research on various matters of public policy and formulate views on policy proposals under consideration by Congress and regulatory bodies. Szapiro has testified before Congress, and he has an inside view of how Washington works: Before venturing into the private sector, he was a senior analyst in the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and he also worked for the New Jersey state legislature. 

In this wide-ranging interview, Szapiro defines Morningstar's approach to policy research and homes in on some of the policy matters dominating our discourse today: whether financial advisors should be held to a fiduciary standard, how the U.S. retirement system might be improved, and whether meaningful retirement legislation can make it through partisan gridlock in Washington. 

This conversation was recorded on April 30, 2019. Since then, the House passed the SECURE Act (on May 23); that legislation has provisions related to annuities in 401(k) plans, multiple employer plans, and required minimum distributions. As of June 11, 2019, the provisions have not passed the Senate. And the Securities and Exchange Commission approved a final version of Regulation Best Interest, which aims to hold broker/dealers to a higher standard of care than was previously required.

Show Notes and References

Background and Professional Development
Szapiro's trajectory into policy research: "It was this arcane language that I wanted to understand." (1:15-2:39)

10 Millennials Making Their Mark on Washington and Beyond 

Policy Research
What policy means at Morningstar and for investors: "Policy really drives and dictates a lot of what ends up happening to investors." (2:40-4:55)

How his team avoids conflicts with Morningstar's business interests: "What would be best for investors and what evidence do we have to support that position?" (4:56-6:25)

How his team works to ground policy recommendations in the data: "What we don't do is we don't try to make values-based arguments." (6:26-8:25)

On whether investors are shaping the investment landscape more than policymakers are: "It's in government's long-term interest to make sure we have a system that protects and empowers people to save and make some decisions." (8:26-10:35)

Policy Matters Today
The state of fiduciary regulation for financial advisors: "It's sort of a mess." (10:36-14:53)

States' role in creating policies that affect investors: "I hope these things build toward a federal solution." (14:54-16:58)

What will drive substantive change in Washington with respect to the investment and retirement landscape: "It's a very slow-moving ship." (16:59-19:51)

The State of the U.S. Retirement System
Retirement preparedness in the U.S.: "There are a lot of people who have been left behind by the fragmented system that we have." (19:52-22:48)

How to measure retirement adequacy: "People should be able to sustain their standard of living that they had during their working lives in retirement." (22:49-24:13)

Whether today's retirees are running out of money, and how we would know. "You don't want to do policy by anecdote." (24:14-26:38)

On the bifurcation in retirement-plan quality between big and small employers. "Small employers are busy keeping the lights on." (26:39-29:22)

On whether the Thrift Savings Plan for federal workers should be available to more workers. "It's great as a model that others can aspire to." (29:23-31:50)

About the Podcast: The Long View is a podcast from Morningstar. Each week, hosts Christine Benz and Jeff Ptak conduct an in-depth discussion with a thought leader from the world of investing or personal finance. The podcast is produced by George Castady and Scott Halver.

About the Hosts: Christine Benz and Jeff Ptak have been analysts and commentators on investments and the investment industry for many years. Christine is Morningstar's director of personal finance and senior columnist for Morningstar.com. Jeff is head of global manager research for Morningstar Research Services, overseeing Morningstar's team of 120 manager research analysts in the U.S. and overseas.

To Share Feedback or a Guest Idea: Write us at TheLongView@morningstar.com

Bogleheads On Investing Podcast
Bogleheads On Investing Podcast
bogleheads
Episode 027: Cliff Asness, host Rick Ferri
Dr. Cliff Asness is a Founder, Managing Principal, and Chief Investment Officer at AQR Capital Management, a quantitative money manager overseeing $186 billion in assets as of December 2019. Prior to co-founding AQR Capital Management, he was a Managing Director and Director of Quantitative Research for the Asset Management Division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. He is an award-winning researcher on quantitative investment strategies and has authored articles for many publications, including The Journal of Portfolio Management, Financial Analysts Journal, The Journal of Finance, and The Journal of Financial Economics. Cliff received a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School and a B.S. in engineering from the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating summa cum laude in both. He received an M.B.A. with high honors and a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Chicago, where he was Eugene Fama’s student and teaching assistant for two years. This podcast is hosted by Rick Ferri, CFA, a long-time Boglehead and investment adviser. The Bogleheads are a group of like-minded individual investors who follow the general investment and business beliefs of John C. Bogle, founder and former CEO of the Vanguard Group. It is a conflict-free community where individual investors reach out and provide education, assistance, and relevant information to other investors of all experience levels at no cost. The organization's free website is Bogleheads.org and the wiki site is Bogleheads® wiki. Bogleheads sites are operated by volunteers who contribute time and talent. Donations help defray operating costs. Since 2000, the Bogleheads' have held national conferences in major cities around the country and currently meet in Philadelphia in the autumn of each year. There are 56 Local Chapters in the US and three Foreign Chapters that also meet regularly. New Chapters are being added on a regular basis. This podcast is supported by the John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy, a non-profit organization approved by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity on February 6, 2012.
59 min
WEALTHTRACK
WEALTHTRACK
Consuelo Mack
Successful Investing: Timeless Advice
Can investing be simple? Can we stop worrying about what’s happening on Wall Street, in Washington, with Fed policy, inflation, corporate earnings, and numerous other headline-making concerns? Can we just get on with our lives and still invest successfully?  According to this week’s guest, the answer is yes, and we shouldn’t even care what the market is doing.   What should we care about? How should we invest? That is the focus of this week’s exclusive WEALTHTRACK interview.   Our guest is Charles Ellis, the author of the investment classic WINNING THE LOSER’S GAME, available now in its 2017 7th edition. Ellis is the author of 16 other books including the recently published 10th-anniversary edition of THE ELEMENTS OF INVESTING, co-written with his good friend, Princeton economics professor Burton Malkiel.    Ellis is a globally recognized financial thought leader, investment consultant, and advisor to governments, institutions, and endowments. He also cares deeply about helping investors succeed, as he puts it “winning the loser’s game.” He will help us do that this week.  WEALTHTRACK #1721 broadcast on November 20, 2020 More info: https://wealthtrack.com/timeless-strategies-for-successful-investing-from-legendary-investment-consultant-charles-ellis/ WINNING THE LOSER’S GAME (2017 edition): https://amzn.to/379ODOP THE ELEMENTS OF INVESTING: https://amzn.to/2UL96Dz --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/wealthtrack/support
26 min
Top Traders Unplugged
Top Traders Unplugged
Niels Kaastrup-Larsen
115 The Systematic Investor Series ft Robert Carver – November 22nd, 2020
Rob Carver returns to the show today to discuss the relevance of open trade equity compared to closed trade equity, the reported return of value’s reign over growth stocks, combining Trend Following portfolios with other strategies, the important of using significant sample sizes when analysing data, why successful systematic traders tend to have the longest documented returns on record.  Questions we answer include: Which type of moving average is generally the most effective in Trend Following?  Do you recommend any hedging strategies? If you would like to leave us a voicemail to play on the show, you can do so here. Check out our Global Macro series here. Learn more about the Trend Barometer here. IT's TRUE 👀 - most CIO's read 50+ books each year - get your copy of the Ultimate Guide to the Best Investment Books ever written here. And you can get a free copy of my latest book "The Many Flavors of Trend Following" here. Send your questions to info@toptradersunplugged.com Follow Niels, Moritz & Rob on Twitter: @TopTradersLive,  @MoritzSeibert & @InvestingIdiocy And please share this episode with a like-minded friend and leave an honest rating & review on iTunes so more people can discover the podcast. Top Traders Unplugged wins award for ‘Best Trading Podcast’ and features among the ‘Top 20 Best Investing Podcasts in 2020’ by The Investors Podcast 🏆 Episode Summary 0:00 - Intro 2:35 - Macro recap from Niels 4:59 - Weekly review of returns 27:16 - Q1; Mervin: What investment strategies would you recommending supplementing a Trend Following portfolio with? 37:36 - Q2 & Q3; Daniel: How do you think about open trade equity versus closed equity, in terms of drawdowns?  Do you have any recommendations for hedging your Trend Following positions? 1:03:57 - Q4; Antonio: Which type of Moving Average (SMA, EMA, ALMA etc) is generally the most effective in Trend Following models? 1:22:48 - Performance recap 1:23:48 - Recommended podcast listening this week: Rauol Pal on the What Bitcoin Did Podcast & blog post on the Robot Wealth website regarding Tesla's inclusion in the S&P 500 & William White talking to Jim Grant on Real Vision Subscribe on:
1 hr 28 min
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