Mutual Fund B Shares Face Extinction

The demonization of “B Shares” continues as even more mutual fund families drop this share class from the roster. From the Wall Street Journal: Lately, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Allianz SE’s Pacific Investment Management Co. and American Century announced they would exit B shares. This accelerates a trend that has been gathering force since mid-decade….

Whither the Wirehouse?

    Charles Schwab just conducted a poll of 200 financial advisors, all at full service firms (aka wirehouses).  More than half had at least 10 years under their belts and the median assets under management was $84 mil. The prognosis was not a good one for the name-brand wirehouse firms… From Less than…

Dimon Loves Retail Stockbrokers

I caught this in the New York Post this morning, thought it was pretty cool: “I love the retail broker business because my dad is a broker and my grandfather was a broker and it was the first job I ever had,” Jamie Dimon, 53, said at a Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association meeting…

The Top 10 Investor Traps According to the NASAA

For 90 years, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) has been committed to protecting and educating individual investors.  The other day they put out a list of what they believe to be the Top 10 Investor Traps, and I thought they’d done a pretty good job of summarizing some of the major pitfalls that…

What Obama's "Brokers As Fiduciaries" Change Really Means

In Obama‘s new regulatory reform proposal, there is language concerning how brokers are looked at and treated versus investment advisors. From the Wall Street Journal: Currently, brokers are only required to offer investments that are “suitable,” which means they can’t put clients in inappropriate investments, such as a highly risky stock for an 80-year-old grandmother….

Morgan Stanley, Meet Smith Barney…Play Nice, Boys.

“Meet the new boss.  Same as the old boss” – The Who, Won’t Get Fooled Again The Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (MS) experiment is underway.  According to the AP, not much will change to start with, other than new business cards and a new phone greeting from the receptionist. The cultures of these two white shoe…

Mortimer, We're Back: Return of the Broker

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.2483668&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26] X I saw a piece in the Journal today that blew my mind.  After everything we’ve been through since the fall of 2007, retail stockbrokers have begun to leave their turrets in big numbers this spring: From the Wall Street Journal via Barry Ritholtz: In April, more than 2,800 people registered as brokers…

Tax Evasion Central Cutting PaineWebber Brokers

How does a big Swiss bank built on stolen Nazi gold, hidden money from African and Middle Eastern despots and un-taxed lucre from wealthy Americans with cross-border connections react to yet another multi-billion dollar quarterly loss?  That’s easy!  It fires stockbrokers. From the Financial Times: 2,500 will go in wealth management Americas, the former PaineWebber…

What is a Piker?

One of the first slang terms I came across when I started in the business was “Piker”, as in “so-and-so is a total piker”.

Amongst the brokers, that was the worst name we could call one another, but it could also be used to describe anyone who is involved in or invests in the markets.

Essentially, by calling someone a piker, you were ridiculing them for the fact that they were either a small-time player or too afraid to bet big.

This got me curious enough to start asking about where the term “Piker” came from. Interestingly, those who seemed to use it most often had the least idea of what it truly meant.