CFA Society Chicago NewsBrief
Mar. 3, 2015

Moody's downgrades Chicago's debt rating
Chicago Tribune
As Chicago heads into a mayoral runoff, a downgrade of the city's debt rating is bringing its precarious financial condition into sharp focus. Citing an overwhelming pension burden, Moody's Investors Service on Friday dropped Chicago's rating to Baa2, two notches above "junk" status.More

Career crossroads: A showcase of opportunities
CFA Chicago
Meet with representatives from Chicago's top investment firms at one of our most popular career development events of the year. Representatives from Kaplan Schweser will also be present to provide candidates with information on their CFA review courses and services.More

Viewing stocks as bonds
CFA Chicago
Don Yacktman, president of Yacktman Asset Management and the co-manager of the Yacktman Fund and the Yacktman Focused Fund to present "Viewing stocks as bonds" at Distinguished Speaker Series in April.More

Insurance industry primer
CFA Chicago
Balance sheet based companies, such as insurance companies, play by different rules and methodologies based on the unique nature of their business. Focus is placed on our insurance industry primer which dives deep into an insurance company's unique financial statement terminology and drivers. More

Focus for investment victory
CFA Institute's Enterprising Investor
Often the most focused player wins the competition. (This is why, years ago, I gave up golf. Despite the occasional good shot, I couldn’t stay focused shot after shot and hole after hole.) While I try to be a keen observer of the investment game, few if any investors with a public record can stay intensely focused on all three parts of the game.More

Best stock pickers say easy money has made their job harder
Robert D’Alelio has the kind of long-term record every mutual fund manager aspires to, beating 98 percent of his peers over the past 15 years with the $12.6 billion Neuberger Berman Genesis Fund and crushing his benchmark, the Russell 2000 Index. D’Alelio’s performance over the past five years isn’t so enviable. He’s fallen behind his yardstick, and he’s got a lot of company.More

Active investing in an indexed world
Pensions & Investments
While active management still plays a critical role in portfolios of all sizes and sophistication levels, it’s hard to ignore the reams of headlines and research notes making the case for passive. Even hard-core stock pickers can’t ignore the increased adoption of indexed exchange-traded funds and the proliferation of “smart beta” indexes that aim to track territory that was previously the purview of active managers.More

Private bank survey: Where to invest cash now
What happens when asset managers believe that equities are still the best and perhaps only play in town, but that shares, particularly in the U.S., are close to being fully valued, and long-term bonds are risky? Answer: Cash positions spike, as wealth managers park money in cash or cash equivalents and wait for dips in the market before buying more stocks.More

New competition targets companies that focus on financial challenges
Chicago Tribune
The Chicago-based Center for Financial Services Innovation announced the creation of a competition for startup companies working to address financial challenges for underserved consumers. The first competition of the nonprofit center’s new Financial Solutions Lab will take place this year and will award at least $250,000 to each of as many as 10 winning companies, organizers said. More

Economic forecasting with the Chicago Bears
The Wall Street Journal
An ill wind buffeted economic forecasters on Friday. It came not from a downward revision to fourth-quarter U.S. growth but from the Windy City. The Chicago Business Barometer, also known as the Chicago PMI, fell sharply and unexpectedly to its lowest level since July 2009, the month after the recession ended. More

Jesus Garcia cannot save Chicago
Financial Times
Hillary Clinton beware. People thought Rahm Emanuel’s re-election as Chicago’s mayor was inevit­able. He spent vastly more than all opponents combined but still failed to pass the 50 percent vote threshold. Now he faces a perilous run-off against Jesus “Chuy” García, a relative unknown who stands for the people against big money.More

Why even mid-sized trading firms are hurting
Crain's Chicago Business
High-speed trading profits have been trending down for years, knocking off Chicago's small traders along the way. Now the city's midtier firms are feeling the squeeze. Chopper Trading sold out to DRW Trading in January, Infinium Capital shuttered after selling part of its business last year and Allston Trading recently dropped its stocks strategy to focus on futures.More