An SEC ruling will let investment advisers advertise customer satisfaction ratings based on surveys conducted by DALBAR Inc.
The SEC has a rule going back to 1961 that forbids investment advisers from using client testimonials. But DALBAR has received a ``no action letter'' from the SEC granting the use of its ratings in money management firms' advertisements.
The ratings will be based on quarterly surveys DALBAR will conduct. DALBAR will publish the names of investment advisers that satisfy certain minimum rating guidelines, and it expects money management firms will tout those ratings in their advertisements.
The Worcester (Mass.) City Council unanimously voted to issue pension obligation bonds for the Worcester Retirement System. It could issue more than $200 million in the bonds, almost doubling the system's assets, to $500 million total.
The state legislature has to approve the bond issue, which could occur later this spring. The system likely will add money managers if it issues the bonds.
Assets in participant-directed 401(k) plans surpassed the $1 trillion mark at the end of March, according to the Spectrem Group, a financial services research firm.
According to Spectrem, more than 25 million workers participate in domestic 401(k) plans in 270,000 companies. Assets in 401(k) plans increased to $1.075 trillion in March, up from $985 billion at the end of 1997 and $675 billion in 1995. 401(k) plan assets were only $105 billion in 1985.
Managed futures firms performed well in March, returning about 1.5% according to industry gauges.
The MAR Trading Advisor index returned 1.5%, on a preliminary basis, while the Mount Lucas Management index returned 1.6%.
The strong U.S. dollar allowed for gains in currency trading, said Lois Peltz, MAR's managing editor, in a statement. The MLM Index is a passive futures index that uses both long and short futures positions.