Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ready For a Santa Rally?

For investors in world stock markets, research reveals, "December has been, on average, around four times more profitable than the average month…. "

According to the table published by The Telegraph, the phenomenon is most pronounced in Japan. Alas, it's least evident in the U.S.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Rockefeller Family Office Is on the Move

The View from 30 Rock
Photo by 
AndrĂ© Lage Freitas via Wikimedia Commons
When I was a kid, occasionally my father would mention he'd dropped off a bookbinding job or picked up a check at the Rockefeller family's office. Wow! Who knew a family could have its own office?

The Rockefellers' office dates back to 1882. In 1933 it moved into the newly built 30 Rock. Now the family has found a better rental in an adjoining Rockefeller Center building. The New York Times marks the pending move with this salute to Room 5600. (The "room" once encompassed three high floors in what my father knew as the RCA building.)

The investment-management arm of the office, Rockefeller & Co, was spun off some years ago and now seeks business from outside the family. You'll find it at 10 Rock.

Friday, November 21, 2014

“The richest old generation we’ve ever seen”

By the time Depression Babies finished school, they had become The Silent Generation. They were relatively small in number, and that fact turned out to be their good fortune. In the post-WWII boom the supply of entry level jobs exceeded demand. Though housing prices seemed to be going through the roof (a house worth $8,000 in 1945 was selling for two or three times as much by 1960) homes proved to be a great investment. 

The result, according to Bloomberg Businessweek:  Generation Rich.

Bunny Mellon’s Awesome “Alternative Investments”

Sotheby's went all out to market the sales of Bunny Mellon's art, jewelry and home furnishings. The effort has paid off.

Mrs. Mellon's art sold for $158.7 million, well above estimate. Last evening the sale of her jewelry and other interesting objects began. Prices often exceeded estimates by two or three times.

An apple-tree brooch crafted for her by Verdura was estimated at around $3,000. It sold for $26,250.

Said to be even bluer than the Hope Diamond, her magnificent blue diamond pendent sold for more than twice its estimate, fetching $32,645,000. (Prices include buyers premium.)

Bunny Mellon, an heiress twice over, surely had a good eye for
valuable objects. But I bet she never bought for investment. The old advice about profiting from art and collectibles – buy and hold what you like – still applies.

Monday, November 17, 2014

What If Everyone Knew Your Net Worth?

You might be less inclined  to buy a Bentley,  and you might increase your saving and investing. The same applies for your wealth management clients.

Read Carl Richards column, which includes this napkin sketch:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Less Banking, More Wealth Management?

Fitch, the rating agency, has seen the future of U.S. banking. It's wealth management.
Wealth management, including advisor-based guidance and asset management, provides recurring sources of income and requires less capital usage than traditional bank loan products.  Wealth management services can strengthen and make stickier relationships with good customers, which tend to provide additional deposit funding, as well as opportunities for cross-selling a bank's core products, such as mortgage lending.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Can a Work of Art Be More Valuable When Not One of a Kind?

In the world of art and collectibles, rarity usually adds value. Uniqueness can be almost priceless.

Here's a contrary example: Giacometti's "Chariot," which just sold at Sotheby's for $101 million. The sculptor produced 'Chariot" in an edition of six, and in this case, Felix Salmon asserts, lack of uniqueness added value.

Monday, November 03, 2014

What Do the Wealthy Like to Read About?

Trusts. Trusts are a regular feature in Penta, Barron's magazine for readers worth five million or more. For example . . .

How to Bust a Trust, an introduction to decanting. Divorce Trusts, for situations where a prenup isn't in the cards. Incentive trusts, the conceptual pros and practical cons.

Note to trust marketers. Make sure your prospects and customers are well read: Ask about Merrill Anderson's newsletters.