CFA Society Chicago NewsBrief
Jul. 15, 2014

Citi to pay $7 billion to settle securities investigation
Reuters
Citigroup Inc. said it agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a U.S. government investigation into mortgage-backed securities the bank sold in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. The settlement figure was more than twice what many analysts expected earlier this year but less than the $12 billion the government had sought in negotiations with the bank.More

Mutual funds with Mario
CFA Chicago
Mario Gabelli, CFA is Chairman, Chief Executive Officer of GAMCO Investors, Inc., a New York Stock Exchange listed company that is a widely recognized provider of investment advice to alternative investments, mutual funds, institutional and private wealth management. GAMCO Investors, Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Gabelli founded the firm in 1977 as an institutional broker-dealer. It has grown into the diversified financial services corporation it is today. Join CFA Chicago on Tuesday, August 12 at 12 p.m. for the Distinguished Speaker Series featuring Gabelli.More

BlackRock: Real strategy under Rieder
CFA Chicago
Rick Rieder, Managing Director, is BlackRock's Chief Investment Officer of Fundamental Fixed Income, Co-head of Americas Fixed Income and a member of the Executive Committee of the firm-wide Alpha Strategy business, a member of BlackRock's Global Operating Committee and Chairman of the BlackRock Investment Council. Join CFA Chicago on July 29 at 12 p.m. for the Distinguished Speaker Series featuring Rieder.More

Networking to support the community
CFA Chicago
Family Focus helps Chicago-area families living in low-income communities give their children the best possible start in life. By offering customized classes, support groups and referral services in a welcoming and caring environment, Family Focus helps families help themselves while building a relationship based on equality and respect. On Thurs., Aug. 14, CFA Chicago is hosting a Summer Networking Reception at Hotel Palomar (Fresco Terrace) to support Family Focus.More

Skills that separate you as an investment manager: Decisiveness
CFA Institute's Enterprising Investor
Some of the skills that you need to succeed as a research analyst are obvious: a love for — and vast knowledge of — economics, business, and finance; a strong drive; confidence and persistence; and so forth. You probably already recognize these skills as necessary since they permeate the mythology of the investment business. Yet many of the skills needed for a successful investment management career are not taught in business schools. More

5 popular — but dangerous — investments for individuals
The Wall Street Journal
Mutual funds that try to emulate hedge funds. Exchange-traded funds that use borrowed money to jack up their bets. Real-estate investment trusts that are hard to unload. Structured notes that look like conventional debt but can be far more risky, and "go anywhere" bond funds that are prone to trade safety for yield. All these investments have at least one thing in common: They have seen their popularity soar recently as investors seek protection from perceived market dangers — or as fund companies market them heavily.More

Northern Trust payout ranks 3rd among banks
Chicago Tribune
When it comes to returning earnings to shareholders through dividends and stock buybacks, Northern Trust Corp. investors have reason to feel hopeful, according to a new analysis. The Chicago-based financial services firm is near the top of a list of banks expected to have the highest payout ratios over the next year.More

Chicago Fed calls for curbs on high-frequency trading
Bloomberg
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago entered the debate over whether financial markets are fair, proposing limits on high-frequency trading firms and incentives to bring more buying and selling into public view. Recommendations in a recent working paper include breaking up the trading session into a series of half-second periods, a snail’s pace in an era of microsecond trading. More

This industry expert says utility mergers will keep coming
The Motley Fool
Wisconsin Energy is buying Integrys Energy Group for $9.1 billion. The deal is big, but it's really just par for the course in an industry that's seen over 100 mergers and acquisitions over the past 20 years. This deal shows why famed value investor Mario Gabelli thinks there's plenty of deal making left to be done.More

As some high-risk assets take a hit, investors fear worse is to come
Reuters via Chicago Tribune
World financial markets became reacquainted with fear, and even if it was short-lived, the ructions in some riskier assets looked to some like a precursor to a much rougher ride down the road. Concerns that Portugal's largest listed bank, Banco Espirito Santo was badly exposed to its owners' accounting problems raised eyebrows in Europe and the U.S., getting investors to ask whether there were more shoes to drop in European banking. More

Venture capitalists deliver task list for Chicago
Chicago Tribune
At first, Chicago had an image problem. Then, its startup community tackled the basics. But to really reach its potential, many of the city’s private venture capitalists say, Chicago’s entrepreneurs need more software engineers, bigger financial guns, continued collaboration between founders and funders and follow-up from civic leaders. The city has done well to build fundamentals such as coworking spaces, networking and mentorship to guide young startups as they get off the ground. More

Citi to pay $7 billion to settle securities investigation
Reuters
Citigroup Inc. said it agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a U.S. government investigation into mortgage-backed securities the bank sold in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. The settlement figure was more than twice what many analysts expected earlier this year but less than the $12 billion the government had sought in negotiations with the bank.More

Where to invest in Europe
Barron's
Two years ago, there seemed to be no end to the bad news coming out of Europe. While Greece teetered on the edge of collapse, rates on Spanish 10-year government bonds were nearly 8 percent, and fear of financial contagion rippled through the Continent. Yet, bargain-hungry investors have come back to the Old World — and in no small way. More

3 second-half picks from a billionaire value guru
NASDAQ
With the second half of the year underway, it's prudent to take stock on how your portfolio performed in the first six months of 2014. In the same vein, it's also the perfect time to see where any value or growth opportunities may lie as we go into the end of 2014. One billionaire has decided to make the latter much easier for investors.More