Clean shares are popping up in the U.S. Several firms, including Capital Group, Janus Henderson Investors, MFS, and T. Rowe Price, offer them. The shares came about from a Securities and Exchange Committee no-action letter issued on January 11, 2017, responding to Capital Group’s request for interpretative guidance on Section 22(d) of the Investment Company Act of 1940.
I had the opportunity to moderate a panel for the Digital Money Forum, an all-day session that is part of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), this week in Las Vegas. Attending CES was a bucket-list thing for me, so I was really excited to be able to attend, and the experience was absolutely worth it. This show is huge—180,000 people were there. For those of you who think Money 2020 is a big deal, it attracts about 10,000 people. Think of about 180,000 people trying to get a cab at the same time or a coffee at Starbucks, and you can get a sense of what it’s like.
Here are a few observations about CES, based on two days of deep immersion:
An article about Helocs in American Banker the day after Christmas begins with the opinion that “Americans who use their homes as ATMs are about to get hit with a sizable withdrawal fee,” referring to the removal of home equity interest deductions from income tax computations. First, any person actually taking cash withdrawals from a home equity account to meet living expenses is most likely already in financial distress that no tax credit can rectify.
Everyone admits defined contribution (DC) plans were never designed to be the default retirement vehicle. But here we are. For the masses—no, those lucky enough to have one—DC plans are the default.
When will we act for an effective retirement system? Defined benefit plans are essentially gone. The Social Security system is questionable. Congressmen are talking about removing the DC-plan tax deduction.
On this year’s FinovateFall stage, over 70 firms gave a seven-minute demo, of which over 15 firms touted data security tools and some 14 firms boasted data science expertise within banking or capital markets settings. After the JPMorgan and Equifax hacks, it seems that no client data is impregnable and that future data breaches are limited by the appetite of hackers. Financial institutions’ hope for fool-proof data security is as dim as that of consumers retaining ownership of their own digital identity. And yet, some Finovate presenters gave an attentive audience a measure of hope. Passwords, Social Security numbers, and two-step authentications can’t guarantee that the individual pushing them through bank or broker digital channels is the person to whom this data belongs.