Recession Watch

October 2019

 

Is the longest expansion in American history about to expire? A time-honored financial indicator recently sparked more interest in that question, but concerns over the economy’s direction had been growing for several months. Read Lantern Investments, Inc latest Economic and Financial Digest 

 

Enlightenment - A Podcast September 9, 2019

September 9, 2019 (Melville, New York)

 
  In this episode of Enlightenment, Keith discusses body language, presentation and how this can influence how others think of us. He then reviews the strong equity performance of last week and other current financial headlines that may impact the markets. He and Lantern's Director of Fixed Income, Brad Harris, conclude with a discussion of the municipal bond market and the possibility of negative interest rates.  

Listen to our latest financial podcast "Enlightenment" featuring Mr. Keith Lanton with special commentary by Brad Harris - Director of Fixed Income at Lantern Investments, Inc. https://youtu.be/wjTYMCEf6Lw

 

Enlightenment - A Podcast 09/03/2019

September 3, 2019 (Melville, New York)

 
"Typically September has been in the later half of the 20th century & the beginning of the 21st century the most treacherous time for the equity markets"  

Listen to our latest financial podcast "Enlightenment" featuring Mr. Keith Lanton with special commentary by Brad Harris - Director of Fixed Income at Lantern Investments, Inc.  https://youtu.be/HUviZpZZO3s

 

Buying Insurance

September 2019
 
As expected, the Federal Reserve cut its short-term policy rate at the July 30-31 meeting, the first reduction since the Great Recession and financial crisis. Read Lantern Investments latest newsletter September 2019

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Enlightenment - Podcast July 29, 2019

July 29, 2019 (Melville, New York)
 
Lantern is proud to announce the initiation of our weekly podcast "Enlightenment At Lantern", featuring our President Keith Lanton. Every week Keith enlightens his audience with intuitive insights, personal development, and current market commentary. Enjoy the podcast of July 29, 2019 

 

Time To Celebrate?

August 2019
 
The U.S. economy celebrated an important milestone last month, having entered the longest expansion in its history.
Read Lantern Investments latest Economic and Financial Digest: Time To Celebrate?
 

Lantern Expands Its Institutional Fixed Income Trading Group

March 21, 2019 (Melville, New York)
 
 
Lantern - a wealth management boutique, whose affiliated companies include a regional broker-dealer, a wealth management firm, and an insurance company - announces its latest team member, appointing Keith Douglas as Vice President - Fixed Income Markets. Keith’s responsibilities will include: assisting our Tri-Party clear through relationships, RIA partners, and Lantern’s financial advisors with fixed income portfolio strategies, portfolio construction, and idea generation. 
 
When asked about joining Lantern, Keith said, “I am excited to assume this role and to be part of a boutique firm, rich in fixed income history. I look forward to providing tailored fixed income solutions to Lantern’s individual and institutional clients and to have the opportunity to contribute to the evolution of Lantern’s fixed income group.”
 
Keith is a financial services professional with extensive experience with top tier investment banks. Previously, as Director of Global Bank Sales Foreign Exchange at Citigroup Global Markets, he provided tailored fixed income and foreign exchange (FX) solutions to the firm’s financial advisors, their ultra high net worth (UHNW) clients, and to financial institutions.
 
On expanding its national fixed income group, Keith Lanton, President of Lantern, said, “We are very proud to welcome Keith Douglas. Lantern is committed to providing our clients with fixed income knowledge and solutions.”
 
Keith is an active member of the Fixed Income Analysts Society (FIASI). FIASI, founded in 1975, is a not-for-profit professional society dedicated to the education of its membership and the fixed income community at large.
 
Keith is married with three children. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf, skiing, and spending time with his family. Keith is a founding member and director of the Joshua Kahan Fund, a not-for-profit foundation finding a cure for pediatric leukemia. Keith holds a BBA from the Lubin School of Business, Pace University.
 
Keith will be working from our corporate offices in Melville, NY. He can be reached at 631-454-2000 | kdouglas (at) lanterninvestments (dot) com | LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/keithdouglas2/
 
About Lantern 
 
Lantern is the shared marketing name for Lantern Investments, Inc., Lantern Wealth Advisors LLC, and Lantern Insurance Brokerage Inc. Lantern Investments, Inc., founded in 1993, is a full-service retail and institutional, regional broker-dealer with fixed income securities as its base. Lantern Wealth Advisors LLC., an SEC registered investment advisor, provides comprehensive asset & wealth management solutions as well as financial planning services. Lantern Insurance Brokerage Inc. provides life insurance solutions to help take care of loved ones in the case of an untimely death, long term care needs, and estate planning needs. In addition to our New York offices, Lantern has offices in California, Florida, Illinois, and Texas. Lantern Investments, Inc. A registered broker/dealer. Member FINRA | MSRB | SIPC. Lantern has custodial relationships with Pershing, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, and Charles Schwab. To learn more about the Lantern group of affiliated companies, please visit the company’s website at https://www.lanternwa.com

 

Reduced Policy Risks Defuses Recession Threat

The economy skirted another landmine on February 15 when Congress passed, and President Trump signed, a package of spending bills that funds the government for the rest of the fiscal year ending September 30.

Read Lantern Investments latest newsletter April 2019 

 

It's Not Just Jobs

Thanks to the government shutdown it will be a while before the data calendar returns to normal. In the meantime, economists, policymakers and investors are flying partially blind. 

Read Lantern Investments latest newsletter March 2019

 

Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble

There’s a time-honored adage that Wall Street likes to climb a wall of worry. As the curtain rang down on 2018, that wall kept getting higher, resulting in one of the most tumultuous market environments in years. The question is, will that wall come tumbling down or pose a formidable barrier for the economy to surmount in the coming year?
 
Read Lantern Investments latest newsletter February 2019

 

Gathering Headwinds

(January 2019) "Gathering Headwinds"

With the midterm elections behind us, the pollsters can breathe a sigh of relief that the outcome was generally consistent with their predictions, unlike the embarrassing misses in the 2016 election.  

Read Lantern Investments latest newsletter January 2019

 

(December 2018) The Fed In The Crosshairs

December 2018  The Federal Reserve, as expected, raised its bellwether policy rate again at its September meeting, bringing it to a range of 2 to 2 1/4 percent. Read Lantern Investments latest newsletter December 2018
 
Facebook Share
in Share

 

 

 
 
 
 

The Road Ahead Will Get Bumpier

The Road Ahead Will Get Bumpier

"With the economy closing in on the best year for growth in more than a decade, household and business spirits are understanably upbeat."

Read Lantern Investments latest newsletter November 2018
 

***

 

Lantern Announces Sponsorship of the Municipal Bond Club of New York

As a Silver Sponsor of the MBCNY, Lantern Proudly Demonstrates its Commitment to the Bond Industry

 

Lantern, a wealth management boutique with a national presence, is delighted to announce its Silver Sponsorship of the Municipal Bond Club of New York (“MBCNY”). The MBCNY was established in 1932 with the mission of promoting fellowship and integrity amongst business professionals by “providing an arena for education, charitable giving, and networking events.” 

Wall Street Regulator Is Also an Investor

Finra's $1.6 billion portfolio has returned 3.4% annually, versus 6% for a half-stock, half-bond portfolio.

By: Dave Michaels

Updated Oct. 5, 2017 4:08 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON:  The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is more than just a Wall Street regulator.

Rare among regulators and little known to many industry participants, Finra is also an investor and one whose subpar returns are compounding its members' financial challenges, say some of the brokerages that pay its fees.

From its inception in 2004 through the end of 2016, Finra's $1.6 billion investment portfolio has brought in $440 million less than what a balanced mix of global stocks and U.S. bonds would have yielded, according to Wall Street Journal calculations. Some brokerages are starting to question how it uses the stockpile.

"It would be prudent for them to take a second look at where that money is going," said Wendy Lanton, chief compliance officer for Lantern Investments Inc. of Melville, N.Y., a firm that employs 44 brokers.

Despite Finra's decision to initially pursue strategies associated with large endowments, such as investing in alternatives such as hedge funds, the portfolio has lagged far behind the market. It has returned 3.4% annually, versus 6% for the half-stock, half-bond portfolio, according to the Journal's analysis of figures disclosed in Finra's annual reports.

The returns have real ramifications for the brokerage industry. In years when Finra's fee revenue exceeds forecasts and investment gains are strong, the regulator can rebate fees paid by firms it regulates. It hasn't done that since 2014.

Instead, since implementing its portfolio Finra has raised some fees it charges its 3,800-member brokerage firms to support its $1 billion budget, partly because its revenue has come under pressure as smaller firms fail or merge. Finra membership is down from 4,600 in 2010.

Finra's actively managed portfolio--unusual for regulators, which normally invest their cash in short-term securities--dates to a windfall that it reaped over several years starting in 2001 after its predecessor, the National Association of Securities Dealers, sold off its interest in the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Finra decided in November 2003 to mimic the investment strategies of university endowments, such as those at Harvard and Yale. It didn't widely publicize the decision, which was opposed by some smaller brokerages that wanted Finra to distribute the Nasdaq payout to member firms. "Finra's investment portfolio is governed by a policy based on best practices of endowment funds," it wrote in its 2007 annual report.

At first, that meant embracing alternative strategies such as investing in hedge funds. In 2006, Finra's board debated whether to reduce its holdings of less liquid investments because the regulator's expenses were increasing faster than revenue, but ultimately didn't make substantive changes, according to an internal report that examined the history of its performance. Finra officials say they spend about 3% of the portfolio each year to pay operating costs.

After losing $576 million in the 2008 downturn, triple its worst-case estimates, Finra piled much of its portfolio into bonds, missing out on much of the subsequent stock-market rally.

"It's pretty drastic underperformance that would typically result in a change of who their consultants or underlying managers are," said Brad Alford, founder of Alpha Capital Management, an Atlanta firm that helps clients identify investment advisers. "They are underperforming a fairly conservative benchmark."

Over the past 10 years, Finra's portfolio netted an average annualized return of 1.9%, according to Journal calculations. That compares with a 5.7% return for endowments with assets over $1 billion, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Finra discloses returns on a calendar year basis, while colleges and universities report performance over a fiscal year that runs from July to June.

Finra officials say they seek greater diversification than a simple basket of stocks and bonds. "We pursued a much more conservative approach than a 50/50 benchmark," said Nancy Condon, a Finra spokeswoman. "Judging risk in hindsight in this manner is meaningless." The portfolio tries to achieve "lower-risk returns that preserve principal."

Finra officials also disputed the Journal's estimated $440 million shortfall because the calculation doesn't use the precise dates of cash flows into and out of the portfolio. That information isn't provided in Finra's annual reports, and the regulator declined to supply it.

Finra tripled the share of its portfolio parked in bonds and cash in 2009, and yanked money from hedge funds and stocks, a decision that hurt its performance as riskier assets rebounded that year. The organization since then has kept about 12% in cash, according to Finra officials, which also hurts returns.

Finra's returns since 2009 have met a custom benchmark that Finra executives use to judge whether their outside money managers beat lower-cost alternatives, Ms. Condon said. But Finra's annual reports don't disclose the benchmark's performance or report how it is calculated.

Since 2009, Finra's portfolio has notched an annualized return of 5.3%, compared with 7.6% for a 50/50 balanced portfolio, according to the Journal's analysis.

Finra further adjusted its asset allocation last year, pulling $35 million from HighVista Strategies LLC, a private fund manager founded by former Harvard University professor Andre Perold that practices endowment-style investing.

The move will reduce fees that Finra pays to HighVista and will boost portfolio liquidity, according to Finra's 2016 annual report. Finra officials say they are pleased with the performance of HighVista, which didn't return calls seeking comment.

 

Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/wall-street-regulator-is-also-an-investorwith-meager-returns-1507195803

Lantern Investments Adds Municipal Bond Veteran to its Lineup

September 29, 2017

Lantern Investments, Inc. (Lantern), a full-service retail and institutional broker-dealer, announced today the hiring of industry veteran Brad Harris as Director of Fixed Income Investments.

Brad Harris is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience in finance. He is the third generation of municipal bond specialists in his family. Prior to joining Lantern Investments, Brad was Senior Vice President of the family-owned Douglas & Co. Municipals, a 45-year-old Municipal Bond firm. He brings with him expertise in bond trading, sales and asset management. Brad will run a branch office of Lantern in midtown Manhattan.

More...

10/25/2015 - Investment Profiles of Senior Clients Can Be Misconstrued

By Wendy Lanton

In their own way, words are nothing but metaphors indicating the objects they epitomize. Every word can be viewed as a metaphor representing something beyond its simple spelling and articulation. This is particularly true for some of the language featured in the industry standard new account form.

09/30/2015 Make Your Client Relationship Personal and Keep It Compliant

Cultivating a long lasting client bond is crucial to both the longevity of the relationship and future generations.

Wed, 2015-09-30 12:42
Cultivating a long lasting client bond is crucial to both the longevity of the relationship and future generations.

Clients look to their financial services professionals as a resource for their financial needs. Whether it is a broad based conversation about their long-term financial needs, narrowly focused questions regarding their taxes or inquiring about the latest breaking news on CNBC, the financial professional is a trusted source.

09/10/2015 - Closed-End Funds – Astute Investors Take Advantage of Big Discounts on Already Reduced Prices

By Keith Lanton

September 10, 2015 at 11:25 AM EDT

Some leveraged Closed-end Funds are currently paying distribution rates as high as 10%.

Melville, NY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/10/2015 -- Hate to haggle for a bargain? You're not alone. So, imagine your excitement at having the opportunity to shop at a store where most prices are meaningfully discounted from where they were just a few weeks ago. Now, picture that a kind stranger just handed you a coupon to take an additional discount off the already reduced prices.

08/31/2015 The Fiduciary Rule Should Be Education

by Wendy Lanton

Teaching investors the role their financial representatives play is a crucial component of the educational process.

The recent barrage of articles regarding the “fiduciary standard” is not bound to cease but rather to endure. At the crux of the debate is the Department of Labor’s [DOL] intention to adopt and enforce a new standard that would, among other things, force brokers who work with retirement accounts to become fiduciaries. 

6/26/2015 - Municipal Bonds - Protecting Income with an Opportune Investment Without a Partner

Facebook Share

in Share

By Keith Lanton
 
Buying municipal bonds empowers investors to retain 100% of their interest income.
 
Melville, NY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/26/2015 -- A wise man once said, "Choose your friends wisely. Not everyone has your best interest." Investors, please take note.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
Savvy investors are the ones who most often choose to invest in tax-free municipal bonds. They have a very good reason for doing so—they avoid taking on a stealth partner, such as Uncle Sam or a state government, whose "best interest" is to take away a share of an investor's profit. In fact, by buying tax-free municipal bonds, investors may be able to keep 100% of their interest income.
 
Every time an individual receives a coupon payment form a taxable bond, earns interest from a certificate of deposit (CD) or a bank account, she or he is investing with a partner. Be it Uncle Sam or the US Government, that partner claims its partnership share of every interest payment received. Uncle Sam in particular is an astute partner. He does not claim his share at the time an investor receives interest payment. Rather, he asks for payment every year on April 15th. By demanding his share at a later date, as part of a complicated tax return, Uncle Sam makes it much harder for investors to realize the magnitude of his "participation" in their hard earned interest income.
 
For those who are in the highest federal tax bracket, Uncle Sam becomes a 39.6% partner of every taxable interest payment they receive. For investors living in high tax states, such as California or New York, the situation is even worse. For example, for an individual in the highest state tax bracket in California, in addition to Uncle Sam, the State of California joins the partnership by claiming 13.3% of every taxable interest payment she receives. Think about it! That investor puts up 100% of the capital to receive only 47.10% (100%-39.6%-13.3%) of the return!
 
Buying municipal bonds empowers investors to achieve two key strategic goals: 1) circumvent the risk of taking on unwanted partners; and, 2) secure their ability to retain 100% of their interest income. Currently, municipal bonds are trading at attractive historical levels relative to taxable bonds. Yields on 10-year municipal bonds are 105.16% of the 10-year Treasury and 20-year municipal bonds are yielding 114.39% of the equivalent Treasury. This has a very important implication for investors, as it means that despite the fact that municipal bonds' income is tax-free— consequently, their rates should be lower—their yields on maturities greater than 10 years are higher than those on treasury bonds! Of course, the latter are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Nevertheless, municipal bonds levels over 100% are high by historical standards.
 
So how can investors go about in finding the right bond? Here are 5 tips:
 
1)  Think like a Banker! -- A bond is a loan, and the investor is the bank.
2)  Time Horizon – An investor must decide when she wants the loan (bond) to end.
3)  High yield is not everything – Is the extra return worth the potential loss of principal and the stress associated with it?
4)  Credit Worthiness – Investors must evaluate how likely they are to get their money back
5)Tax Equivalent Yield – An investor must compare apples to apples by calculating upfront what interest rate must be received on a taxable bond to earn    the equivalent tax-free yield.
 
No one knows where interest rates will be in the next few years. What is known instead is that, if investors buy a tax-free bond paying 4% and hold it until maturity, they will receive an attractive tax-free income. In fact, that tax equivalent yield will be 8% if the investor is in a 50% combined federal and state tax bracket. At maturity, as long as the issuer remains in good standing, the principal will be repaid in full.
 
About Lantern Investments, Inc.
Based in Melville, NY, Lantern Investments, Inc. is a wealth management firm that educates and guides multi-generational clients to achieve their financial goals by managing risk, growing assets and preserving wealth. The firm has offices in Westbury, NY, Chicago, IL, Houston, TX, San Francisco, CA and Hoboken, NJ. For more information call (631) 454-2000 or visit  http://www.lanternwealth.com
 
About Keith Lanton
Keith Lanton is the President of Lantern Investments. He works with clients to develop optimal asset allocations and investment portfolios that factor in the clients risk profile and income needs. He has appeared on financial radio shows, been quoted in newspapers and industry publications and also served on numerous investment panels and forums. He can be reached at  keith@lanterninvestments.com
 
Source URL:  http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/release-606807.htm
 
 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 

Company Info

35 Pinelawn Rd., Suite 101E
Melville, NY 11747
Tel: 800.860.1010 or 631.454.2000
Email: Keith@lanterninvestments.com

OUR DISCLOSURE

Advisory services offered through Lantern Wealth Advisors, LLC., a registered investment advisor. Securities offered through Lantern Investments Inc., a registered broker dealer, Member FINRA, MSRB, SIPC.