The Road Ahead Will Get Bumpier

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
 

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Lantern Announces Sponsorship of the Municipal Bond Club of New York

 

Lantern Announces Sponsorship of the
Municipal Bond Club of New York


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.”

Members of the MBCNY are given the opportunity to expand their knowledge and develop connections through an array of social events and panels. The club also enhances members’ investment skills by offering 9-week lecture series highlighting various aspects of the municipal bond industry. Lantern is proud to support an organization that champions excellence within the field.  

Keith Lanton, President of Lantern Investments, declared, “Since our firm’s foundation is rooted in the bond market, we take great pleasure in supporting the MBCNY and demonstrating our commitment to the industry.”

Annually, the MBCNY donates to select charities. This year the organization raised $5,000 for the FDNY Foundation and $1,000 for Kindness over Muscular Dystrophy. Lantern values these donations as it similarly focuses on giving back to the community through fund-raising efforts for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society-Long Island.  

Lantern’s Director of Fixed Income Securities, Brad Harris, who is the Treasurer at MBCNY, stated, “The Municipal Bond Club of New York organizes some of the finest events and charitable work I have ever seen. As Treasurer of the Club, I am grateful that my company, Lantern, is supporting this outstanding organization. It truly shows Lantern’s continued interest in, and dedication to, the municipal bond product and the industry which serves it.”

Lantern, as a full service broker dealer and leading bond specialist, is looking forward to collaborating with the MBCNY to share investment expertise and make strides within the industry.

 

About Lantern

Lantern, a wealth management boutique, is the shared marketing name for Lantern Investments, Lantern Wealth Advisors LLC, and Lantern Insurance Brokerage Inc. Founded in 1993, Lantern Investments, Inc. is a full-service retail and institutional broker-dealer with fixed income securities as its base. Today, Lantern Investments is proud to be a leading bond specialist, finding value for clients across the country. In addition to three New York offices, Lantern has offices in Texas, Chicago, and California. Through its fee-based affiliate, Lantern Wealth Advisors LLC, Lantern provides asset & wealth management solutions as well as financial planning services. The Lantern group of companies manages over $1 billion in assets for high net worth clients. 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. Life Insurance solutions provided by Lantern Insurance Brokerage Inc. To learn more about the Lantern group of companies, please visit the company’s web site athttp://www.lanternwealth.com


Full Link PDF:

https://lanternwa2.advisorproducts.com/images/files/press release MBCNY 07 2018.pdf

Wall Street Regulator Is Also an Investor

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.

 

Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/wall-street-regulator-is-also-an-investorwith-meager-returns-1507195803

Lantern Investments Adds Municipal Bond Veteran to its Lineup

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.

More...

10/25/2015 - Investment Profiles of Senior Clients Can Be Misconstrued

By Wendy Lanton

In their own way, words are nothing but metaphors indicating the objects they epitomize. Every word can be viewed as a metaphor representing something beyond its simple spelling and articulation. This is particularly true for some of the language featured in the industry standard new account form.

09/30/2015 Make Your Client Relationship Personal and Keep It Compliant

Cultivating a long lasting client bond is crucial to both the longevity of the relationship and future generations.

Wed, 2015-09-30 12:42
Cultivating a long lasting client bond is crucial to both the longevity of the relationship and future generations.

Clients look to their financial services professionals as a resource for their financial needs. Whether it is a broad based conversation about their long-term financial needs, narrowly focused questions regarding their taxes or inquiring about the latest breaking news on CNBC, the financial professional is a trusted source.

09/10/2015 - Closed-End Funds – Astute Investors Take Advantage of Big Discounts on Already Reduced Prices

By Keith Lanton

September 10, 2015 at 11:25 AM EDT

Some leveraged Closed-end Funds are currently paying distribution rates as high as 10%.

Melville, NY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/10/2015 -- Hate to haggle for a bargain? You're not alone. So, imagine your excitement at having the opportunity to shop at a store where most prices are meaningfully discounted from where they were just a few weeks ago. Now, picture that a kind stranger just handed you a coupon to take an additional discount off the already reduced prices.

08/31/2015 The Fiduciary Rule Should Be Education

by Wendy Lanton

Teaching investors the role their financial representatives play is a crucial component of the educational process.

The recent barrage of articles regarding the “fiduciary standard” is not bound to cease but rather to endure. At the crux of the debate is the Department of Labor’s [DOL] intention to adopt and enforce a new standard that would, among other things, force brokers who work with retirement accounts to become fiduciaries. 

6/22/2015 - Cybersecurity is Not Just for the Big Firms

By Wendy Lanton

While almost all broker-dealer and investment advisory firms recognize they need a plan to deter, prevent and detect cyber invasions, most advisors don’t seem to realize the vital role they play.

Simple steps can make the difference between keeping client data secure and suffering a cyber attack

4/06/2015 - This April Don't Be Fooled by Your Brokerage Statement

Melville, NY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/06/2015 -- "Don't judge a book by its cover and your investment performance by its brokerage statement!" cautions Keith Lanton, President of Lantern Investments.

Lanton warns that investors continue to inaccurately assess the performance of their investments, especially around this time of the year, tax season, when they review their 1099 Form.

3/09/2015 - Zero-coupon bonds offer certainty

By Keith Lanton

Holding tax-free municipals to maturity can make otherwise skittish investors more confident

The only certain thing about investing is uncertainty. That theme was validated last year and humbled the wise men of Wall Street. Seventy-two out of 72 economists polled predicted that interest rates would rise. Yet the 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.20% from 3.00%. In addition, none of the economists foresaw the price of oil tumbling to under $60 a barrel from $110, yet it did.

1/08/2015 - Tax-Free Zeros Shine Amid the Bond-Market Blahs

By Keith Lanton

Zero-coupon tax-free bonds may offer the best investment opportunity in today’s fixed-income market. Intermediate- and longer-term tax-free zeros are currently yielding about 20% more than comparable coupon-paying bonds. For example, an investor in a high-tax state can earn 3.50% to 3.75% on a 20-year tax-free muni. A client in a high federal and state tax bracket could see a tax-equivalent yield of 7.00% to 7.50%.

11/24/2014 - The Dreaded Annual Compliance Questionnaire

By Wendy Lanton

It's that time of year when the compliance department hands out the annual compliance questionnaire. It comes with an overwhelming sense of anxiety to many advisors even if they have nothing to fear. Why is it so dreaded? Here are the top five reasons why it is so feared:

4/23/2013 - Truth and Investing

By Keith Lanton
 
A recent DALBAR study reveals that from 1990-2010 the average investor earned a 3.49% equity profit. Over the same time period the S&P returned 7.81%. Why has the average investor underperformed the S&P by 4%? I believe the answer lies within.

12/15/2012 - The #1 Mistake Wise Bond Investors Make

By Sal Favarolo

The Federal Reserve, in keeping with its dual mandate of pursuing full employment and stable prices, has been conducting aggressive monetary policy driving interest rates to historically, low levels. This action by the Fed has resulted in large gains in bond prices. As such, most bonds are now trading at what is referred to as a “premium”. 

Company Info

35 Pinelawn Rd., Suite 101E
Melville, NY 11747
Tel: 800.860.1010 or 631.454.2000
Email: Keith@lanterninvestments.com

OUR DISCLOSURE

Advisory services offered through Lantern Wealth Advisors, LLC., a registered investment advisor. Securities offered through Lantern Investments Inc., a registered broker dealer, Member FINRA, MSRB, SIPC.