October 28, 2019
October 21, 2019
Just as there is nothing more certain than death and taxes, the financial markets face the perpetual challenge of climbing a wall of worry. Read Lantern Investments, Inc November Economic And Financial Digest
October 14, 2019
In this epsiode of Enlightenment, Keith Lanton discusses the low interest rate, low inflation rate environment and current news that may impact the financial markets.
September 23, 2019
In this weeks episode of Enlightenment, a financial podcast, Keith discusses temporal landmarks, what they are and how they relate to financial decision making. Brad Harris, Director of Fixed Income, joins Keith commenting on current events in the bond market.
Is the longest expansion in American history about to expire? A time-honored financial indicator recently sparked more interest in that question, but concerns over the economy’s direction had been growing for several months. Read Lantern Investments, Inc latest Economic and Financial Digest
September 16, 2019
September 9, 2019 (Melville, New York)
Listen to our latest financial podcast "Enlightenment" featuring Mr. Keith Lanton with special commentary by Brad Harris - Director of Fixed Income at Lantern Investments, Inc. https://youtu.be/wjTYMCEf6Lw
September 3, 2019 (Melville, New York)
Listen to our latest financial podcast "Enlightenment" featuring Mr. Keith Lanton with special commentary by Brad Harris - Director of Fixed Income at Lantern Investments, Inc. https://youtu.be/HUviZpZZO3s
As expected, the Federal Reserve cut its short-term policy rate at the July 30-31 meeting, the first reduction since the Great Recession and financial crisis. Read Lantern Investments latest newsletter September 2019
August 5, 2019 (Melville, New York)
July 29, 2019 (Melville, New York)
The U.S. economy celebrated an important milestone last month, having entered the longest expansion in its history.
Read Lantern Investments latest Economic and Financial Digest: Time To Celebrate?
As advertised, the U.S. economy is slowing from the deceptively robust 3.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter.
March 21, 2019 (Melville, New York)
Lantern - a wealth management boutique, whose affiliated companies include a regional broker-dealer, a wealth management firm, and an insurance company - announces its latest team member, appointing Keith Douglas as Vice President - Fixed Income Markets. Keith’s responsibilities will include: assisting our Tri-Party clear through relationships, RIA partners, and Lantern’s financial advisors with fixed income portfolio strategies, portfolio construction, and idea generation.
When asked about joining Lantern, Keith said, “I am excited to assume this role and to be part of a boutique firm, rich in fixed income history. I look forward to providing tailored fixed income solutions to Lantern’s individual and institutional clients and to have the opportunity to contribute to the evolution of Lantern’s fixed income group.”
Keith is a financial services professional with extensive experience with top tier investment banks. Previously, as Director of Global Bank Sales Foreign Exchange at Citigroup Global Markets, he provided tailored fixed income and foreign exchange (FX) solutions to the firm’s financial advisors, their ultra high net worth (UHNW) clients, and to financial institutions.
On expanding its national fixed income group, Keith Lanton, President of Lantern, said, “We are very proud to welcome Keith Douglas. Lantern is committed to providing our clients with fixed income knowledge and solutions.”
Keith is an active member of the Fixed Income Analysts Society (FIASI). FIASI, founded in 1975, is a not-for-profit professional society dedicated to the education of its membership and the fixed income community at large.
Keith is married with three children. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf, skiing, and spending time with his family. Keith is a founding member and director of the Joshua Kahan Fund, a not-for-profit foundation finding a cure for pediatric leukemia. Keith holds a BBA from the Lubin School of Business, Pace University.
Keith will be working from our corporate offices in Melville, NY. He can be reached at 631-454-2000 | kdouglas (at) lanterninvestments (dot) com | LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/keithdouglas2/
Lantern is the shared marketing name for Lantern Investments, Inc., Lantern Wealth Advisors LLC, and Lantern Insurance Brokerage Inc. Lantern Investments, Inc., founded in 1993, is a full-service retail and institutional, regional broker-dealer with fixed income securities as its base. Lantern Wealth Advisors LLC., an SEC registered investment advisor, provides comprehensive asset & wealth management solutions as well as financial planning services. Lantern Insurance Brokerage Inc. provides life insurance solutions to help take care of loved ones in the case of an untimely death, long term care needs, and estate planning needs. In addition to our New York offices, Lantern has offices in California, Florida, Illinois, and Texas. Lantern Investments, Inc. A registered broker/dealer. Member FINRA | MSRB | SIPC. Lantern has custodial relationships with Pershing, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, and Charles Schwab. To learn more about the Lantern group of affiliated companies, please visit the company’s website at https://www.lanternwa.com
The economy skirted another landmine on February 15 when Congress passed, and President Trump signed, a package of spending bills that funds the government for the rest of the fiscal year ending September 30.
Thanks to the government shutdown it will be a while before the data calendar returns to normal. In the meantime, economists, policymakers and investors are flying partially blind.
Read Lantern Investments latest newsletter March 2019
(January 2019) "Gathering Headwinds"
With the midterm elections behind us, the pollsters can breathe a sigh of relief that the outcome was generally consistent with their predictions, unlike the embarrassing misses in the 2016 election.
Read Lantern Investments latest newsletter January 2019
December 2018 The Federal Reserve, as expected, raised its bellwether policy rate again at its September meeting, bringing it to a range of 2 to 2 1/4 percent. Read Lantern Investments latest newsletter December 2018
The Road Ahead Will Get Bumpier
"With the economy closing in on the best year for growth in more than a decade, household and business spirits are understanably upbeat."
Read Lantern Investments latest newsletter November 2018
As a Silver Sponsor of the MBCNY, Lantern Proudly Demonstrates its Commitment to the Bond Industry
Lantern, a wealth management boutique with a national presence, is delighted to announce its Silver Sponsorship of the Municipal Bond Club of New York (“MBCNY”). The MBCNY was established in 1932 with the mission of promoting fellowship and integrity amongst business professionals by “providing an arena for education, charitable giving, and networking events.”
Finra's $1.6 billion portfolio has returned 3.4% annually, versus 6% for a half-stock, half-bond portfolio.
By: Dave Michaels
Updated Oct. 5, 2017 4:08 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON: The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is more than just a Wall Street regulator.
Rare among regulators and little known to many industry participants, Finra is also an investor and one whose subpar returns are compounding its members' financial challenges, say some of the brokerages that pay its fees.
From its inception in 2004 through the end of 2016, Finra's $1.6 billion investment portfolio has brought in $440 million less than what a balanced mix of global stocks and U.S. bonds would have yielded, according to Wall Street Journal calculations. Some brokerages are starting to question how it uses the stockpile.
"It would be prudent for them to take a second look at where that money is going," said Wendy Lanton, chief compliance officer for Lantern Investments Inc. of Melville, N.Y., a firm that employs 44 brokers.
Despite Finra's decision to initially pursue strategies associated with large endowments, such as investing in alternatives such as hedge funds, the portfolio has lagged far behind the market. It has returned 3.4% annually, versus 6% for the half-stock, half-bond portfolio, according to the Journal's analysis of figures disclosed in Finra's annual reports.
The returns have real ramifications for the brokerage industry. In years when Finra's fee revenue exceeds forecasts and investment gains are strong, the regulator can rebate fees paid by firms it regulates. It hasn't done that since 2014.
Instead, since implementing its portfolio Finra has raised some fees it charges its 3,800-member brokerage firms to support its $1 billion budget, partly because its revenue has come under pressure as smaller firms fail or merge. Finra membership is down from 4,600 in 2010.
Finra's actively managed portfolio--unusual for regulators, which normally invest their cash in short-term securities--dates to a windfall that it reaped over several years starting in 2001 after its predecessor, the National Association of Securities Dealers, sold off its interest in the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Finra decided in November 2003 to mimic the investment strategies of university endowments, such as those at Harvard and Yale. It didn't widely publicize the decision, which was opposed by some smaller brokerages that wanted Finra to distribute the Nasdaq payout to member firms. "Finra's investment portfolio is governed by a policy based on best practices of endowment funds," it wrote in its 2007 annual report.
At first, that meant embracing alternative strategies such as investing in hedge funds. In 2006, Finra's board debated whether to reduce its holdings of less liquid investments because the regulator's expenses were increasing faster than revenue, but ultimately didn't make substantive changes, according to an internal report that examined the history of its performance. Finra officials say they spend about 3% of the portfolio each year to pay operating costs.
After losing $576 million in the 2008 downturn, triple its worst-case estimates, Finra piled much of its portfolio into bonds, missing out on much of the subsequent stock-market rally.
"It's pretty drastic underperformance that would typically result in a change of who their consultants or underlying managers are," said Brad Alford, founder of Alpha Capital Management, an Atlanta firm that helps clients identify investment advisers. "They are underperforming a fairly conservative benchmark."
Over the past 10 years, Finra's portfolio netted an average annualized return of 1.9%, according to Journal calculations. That compares with a 5.7% return for endowments with assets over $1 billion, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Finra discloses returns on a calendar year basis, while colleges and universities report performance over a fiscal year that runs from July to June.
Finra officials say they seek greater diversification than a simple basket of stocks and bonds. "We pursued a much more conservative approach than a 50/50 benchmark," said Nancy Condon, a Finra spokeswoman. "Judging risk in hindsight in this manner is meaningless." The portfolio tries to achieve "lower-risk returns that preserve principal."
Finra officials also disputed the Journal's estimated $440 million shortfall because the calculation doesn't use the precise dates of cash flows into and out of the portfolio. That information isn't provided in Finra's annual reports, and the regulator declined to supply it.
Finra tripled the share of its portfolio parked in bonds and cash in 2009, and yanked money from hedge funds and stocks, a decision that hurt its performance as riskier assets rebounded that year. The organization since then has kept about 12% in cash, according to Finra officials, which also hurts returns.
Finra's returns since 2009 have met a custom benchmark that Finra executives use to judge whether their outside money managers beat lower-cost alternatives, Ms. Condon said. But Finra's annual reports don't disclose the benchmark's performance or report how it is calculated.
Since 2009, Finra's portfolio has notched an annualized return of 5.3%, compared with 7.6% for a 50/50 balanced portfolio, according to the Journal's analysis.
Finra further adjusted its asset allocation last year, pulling $35 million from HighVista Strategies LLC, a private fund manager founded by former Harvard University professor Andre Perold that practices endowment-style investing.
The move will reduce fees that Finra pays to HighVista and will boost portfolio liquidity, according to Finra's 2016 annual report. Finra officials say they are pleased with the performance of HighVista, which didn't return calls seeking comment.
September 29, 2017
Lantern Investments, Inc. (Lantern), a full-service retail and institutional broker-dealer, announced today the hiring of industry veteran Brad Harris as Director of Fixed Income Investments.
Brad Harris is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience in finance. He is the third generation of municipal bond specialists in his family. Prior to joining Lantern Investments, Brad was Senior Vice President of the family-owned Douglas & Co. Municipals, a 45-year-old Municipal Bond firm. He brings with him expertise in bond trading, sales and asset management. Brad will run a branch office of Lantern in midtown Manhattan.
By Sal Favarolo
Owners of small businesses with no employees, except perhaps a spouse, often use a simplified employee pension (SEP) plan, a business retirement plan that allows for larger contributions than a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) ...
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