Economy / Economics

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    Brokers' push to fee-based comp slams higher-cost funds

    Mutual funds with sales charges and distribution fees are on pace for their fifth and possibly largest-ever year of redemptions.

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    New managed volatility funds aim to protect client portfolios from market swings

    Value in managed volatility comes from potentially getting equity-like exposure with similar returns, lower volatility and better downside performance

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    The economic immigration issue President Obama isn't ready to talk about

    On Friday's Breakfast with Benjamin, the immigration issue President Obama isn't ready to talk about. Plus: Morgan Stanley's wealth management riddle, chilly weather heats up commodities, and an honest look at Wall Street's culture of dishonesty.

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    Alan Greenspan dishes on fear and inertia

    On today's midweek Breakfast with Benjamin, former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan talks fear of bubbles. Plus: Catching a ride on Japan's QE wave, Russia is sweating over low oil prices, and a union stalemate could lead to lower-cost Christmas trees.

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    As oil prices fall, investment opportunities emerge

    For most people, the dramatic drop in oil prices over the past few months has been welcomed in the form of cheaper gasoline prices. But for investors, the story is less clear.Beyond the obvious pain felt by energy producers as the price of oil drops closer to a production break-even point, there

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    Federal Reserve's next move might not be until 2016

    Tuesday Breakfast with Benjamin: Why the Fed's first interest rate hike could be pushed off even further. Plus: What happens when all asset classes stand still, cutting into timber investments, and a Goldman hedge fund swings and misses on interest rates

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    Liquid alts' drawback: High cost

    The more alternative products that fund companies offer, the bigger the dilemma facing financial advisers.

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    Warren Buffett's railroad buyout sees big returns thanks to oil boom

    Days after Warren Buffett announced his $26.5 billion buyout of railroad BNSF, he insisted that he had paid a steep price to own a business that would benefit his company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., over the next century. “You don't get bargains on things like that,” Mr. Buffett said in a November

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    Largest alternatives funds

    Fund/tickerNet assets ($M)1-year return3-year return5-year returnExpense ratio*MainStay Marketfield I (MFLDX)$16,035.7-6.48%8.95%8.48%1.52%Gateway A (GATEX)$8,181.46.40%7.13%5.37%0.94%AQR Managed Futures Strategy I (AQMIX)$6,377.17.32%3.12%N/A1.23%Pimco Emerging Markets Currency A ...

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    Stocks, dollar climb but gold drops

    The dollar strengthened to a seven-year high against the yen and U.S. equity-index futures rose while gold declined. European bonds gained and stocks pared losses.The dollar appreciated 0.5% to 116.35 yen at 10:45 a.m. in London. Gold slid 0.7%. S&P 500 futures rose 0.2% while Stoxx Europe 600

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    Prolific U.S. oil production raises questions about a new tipping point

    Friday Breakfast with Benjamin highlights the downsides to cheap U.S. oil. Plus: Maybe you don't need long-term-care insurance, the high risks of not saving for retirement, Putin becomes a gold bug, and why you might get a raise in 2015.

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    Stock-index futures gain, indicating an S&P 500 rebound

    After slipping from a record high, stock futures point to the S&P's advancing again.

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    Morningstar's latest Pimco remarks spark catty comments

    On Thursday's Breakfast with Benjamin menu: A string of catty comments accompany a Morningstar talk-up of Pimco's outlook. Plus, what municipal bond investors can learn from Detroit and Stockton, avoid getting sucked in by the market's latest winning streak, and much more.

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    Stock-index futures signal pullback from record highs

    U.S. stock-index futures declined, signaling benchmark gauges may fall from record levels, as investors consider valuations that are the highest since 2009.Citigroup Inc. dropped in German trading after U.S., Swiss and British regulators fined the bank to settle a probe into the rigging of

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    Sweet deal at Goldman Sachs lets partners invest alongside the bank

    Breakfast with Benjamin: It's all about access at Goldman. Plus: U.S. soldiers sue banks for helping Iran finance attacks in Iraq, adjusting portfolios for a fourth-quarter ride, oil prices are expected to hang low till the next OPEC meeting, and a hats off to companies taking their hats off to ...