Why Your RIA Firm Should Blog

Do you blog personally? Does your RIA firm blog? If you aren't sold on the benefits, here's 5 key ways it can help your business.

The post Why Your RIA Firm Should Blog appeared first on Orion Advisor Services.


Gemini Managed Account Platform Surpasses $500M in AUM

Gemini Alternative Funds featured in “FINalternatives”:

Invested assets aboard Gemini Alternative Funds’ Galaxy Plus managed account platform have crested $500 million as of this month, the company has disclosed.

The alternative strategy platform was launched in December 2014 to provide investors, regardless of investment size, an institutional-level investing experience.

Strategies from twenty advisors are now offered on the as an open-architecture platform, ranging from managed futures, commodities, real estate, hedge funds, foreign equities and derivatives contracts. The platform offers lower investment minimums, transparency, access to near real-time data, notional funding capabilities, risk monitoring and management services, and more frequent liquidity than would be otherwise possible.

To read more click here.





Jersey Roots

MikeZ and wife

Mike with his wife, Lauren.

Content provided by Robyn Murray, Freelance Writer

When Mike Zarren’s friends were biking through the woods or swimming in the lake at summer camp, he was inside, enjoying the air conditioning, and making money.

“I’m not a big outdoorsy guy anyway,” Zarren said in a recent interview. “I’d rather be working.”

Zarren has worked since he was 11 years old, babysitting and helping neighbors’ kids with homework. He collected baseball cards, which he traded and sold for a profit, and every school break — spring, summer, or winter — he’d work at the paper distribution company where his father worked. “I’m motivated by success,” Zarren said. “I’m in the game to win.”

Zarren grew up in the Garden State near the Jersey Shore where he says he spent time taking in the sun, eating seafood, and trying to be seen. His parents instilled a drive for independence and a passion for competing. He was fiercely competitive at school and in sports, and he credits his upbringing — both his parents and his childhood and teen years on the Jersey Shore, which gave him plenty of incentive to one-up the competition.

“I decked it out Jersey style”

Reality television is generally not where we look to find an accurate portrayal of a city or state. But, at least according to Zarren, shows like The Real Housewives of New Jersey, which depicts hyper-competitive, status-driven New Jersey women who dress to the nines in designer clothes and heavy make-up, do a pretty good job. “That’s like every family,” he said with a laugh. “Riding the Jersey Shore, it’s just like the stereotypes you see on TV. You want to be noticed.”

When Zarren was in high school, he used the money he’d saved to buy a car and fix it up just the way he wanted: a souped-up 1986 Nissan 300ZX with a brand new stereo and a neon underglow. The license plate: MIKESZX. “I decked it out Jersey style,” Zarren said. “And I miss it,” he added wistfully. “I really do miss it.”

After high school, Zarren got interested in finance when he realized his money-making skills could be enhanced by learning the ins and outs of investing. He studied finance at Towson University in Baltimore and later took a job at Rydex Investments where he served as an analyst and a relationship manager. Zarren moved from there to a director of relationship management role at Ceros Financial Services, and in 2013, a position opened at CLS. He jumped at the opportunity. “I’d met executives and leaders across NorthStar [CLS’s parent company],” Zarren said, “and when the opportunity presented itself to join the team, I couldn’t pass it up.”

Today Zarren is Director of Key Accounts at CLS. He spends much of his time on the road or on the phone working to build exposure for CLS’s wholesalers and internals and get them in front of financial advisors. A typical work week is 55-60 hours, but he’s always on call. “It’s not required,” he said, “but that’s just how I am. I want people to be able to count on me.”

One day, he swears, it’ll be time for play.

“I work a lot, and maybe that’s not a good thing,” he said, “but I’ll be able to play more when the time for play does come.” Zarren looks to his wife’s grandparents, who retired at 55, as an example. They worked and saved their whole lives, retired early, bought an RV and traveled on an extended trip through Europe. “They had more than 20 years together in retirement,” he said. “I’d like to retire one day. I want to enjoy life with my wife when our kids are established in their own lives.”

MikeZ and girls

Mike with daughters, Melanie (14 months) and Hailey (5 years)

The plan, for now, is to buy a home in San Diego or a Caribbean island where his kids can visit and soak in the sun, just like he did on the Jersey Shore beach. And maybe he’ll buy a fun sports car to cruise the seaside streets. But that’s still several years away. For now, he’ll take care of his family and stick with something reliable, and less flashy. His current ride: a Toyota Camry.

“But with aspirations of a Chevy Tahoe,” he added quickly. He paused and laughed. “Now that I have two kids, I have a family car. How times change.”




Inside Capstone: Preferred Stocks

Capstone’s Director of Fixed Income Investments and Portfolio Manager, Victoria Fernandez talks with CLS’s Portfolio Manager, Josh Jenkins, CFA, about why there is a place for preferred stocks in a fixed income portfolio



Gemini Alt Surpasses $500 Million in Assets on Managed Account Platform

Gemini Alternative Funds, LLC’s Open-Architecture Platform Provides a Transparent, Customized & Cost-Effective Way to Invest in Alternative Strategies; 20 Advisors Now Offer Their Strategies in Managed Accounts via Gemini Alt

Gemini Alternative Funds, LLC (“Gemini Alt”) has surpassed $500 million in invested assets on its Galaxy Plus Fund managed account platform as of August 2016.

“At a time when the demand for access to alternative strategies continues to increase, our platform enables investors to access alternative strategies from a variety of advisors with the same degree of transparency and control—and lower fees—they experience when investing in mutual funds,” said David Young, President of Gemini Alt. “The rapid growth of Galaxy Plus is a testament to our ability to help investors create their own investing solutions for obtaining risk-managed returns and diversification with alternative strategies.”

To read the full press release click here.





Inside Capstone: Fixed Income Investors

Capstone’s Director of Fixed Income Investments and Portfolio Manager, Victoria Fernandez gives CLS’s Portfolio Manager, Josh Jenkins, CFA, a two part answer to how active fixed income investors should be.


How to talk about performance and risk with clients

Watch today's Orion Weekly for new articles and updates, and then grab a copy of the September 2016 Efficient Advisor newsletter.

The post How to talk about performance and risk with clients appeared first on Orion Advisor Services.


Inside Capstone: Rising Interest Rates

Capstone’s Director of Fixed Income Investments and Portfolio Manager, Victoria Fernandez talks with CLS’s Portfolio Manager, Josh Jenkins, CFA, about whether or not investors should be concerned with the risining interest rates.


Gemini Fund Achieves ‘Most Marked Improvement in Client Perception’ in Global Custodian Survey

The Gemini Companies is proud to announce that Gemini Fund Services, LLC received an impressive year-over-year score increase in Global Custodian magazine’s Summer 2016 survey on mutual fund administration. Gemini Fund’s scores by securities service professionals in all servicing areas were between 103 and 246 basis points higher than last year—”the most marked improvement in client perception in this year’s survey,” as Global Custodian noted.

“As mutual fund administration evolves due to changing regulations and fee pressures, we are proactively strengthening our platform to accommodate advisors’ demands for more automation and greater reporting capabilities,” said Andrew Rogers, Chief Executive Officer of The Gemini Companies. “We are grateful that Global Custodian and its survey participants recognize our ongoing enhancements, and we look forward to continuing to partner with our clients to help them strategically grow their assets under management, meet their goals, comply with new regulations and better engage with investors.”

Read more




Inside Capstone: Investors and Fixed Income (episode 2)

Capstone’s Director of Fixed Income Investments and Portfolio Manager, Victoria Fernandez talks with CLS’s Portfolio Manager, Josh Jenkins, CFA, about how investors should think about fixed income.