WSJ Wealth Adviser Briefing: The Covid Economy’s Deep Divide, Virtual Collaboration, Life Without Travel

Some mutual-fund managers will look back on 2020 as the worst of times. Others are having the time of their lives, posting year-to-date returns of 75% or more.

The difference between the winners and the laggards is relatively straightforward: the extent to which portfolios were heavily weighted with stocks of companies that stand to benefit disproportionately from disruptive change.

Below, some of the best analysis and insight from WSJ writers and columnists, the Dow Jones Newswires team and occasionally beyond, on investing, the wealth-management business and more.

ELECTION

NYPD Prepares for Potential Unrest After Presidential Election: City officers, like others across the nation, are being trained in dealing with peaceful as well as violent protests.

CORONAVIRUS OUTLOOK

The Covid Economy Carves Deep Divide Between Haves and Have-Nots: Comeback since start of pandemic is kind to those who can work from home, to firms serving them and to regions hospitable to them. Many others are left behind.

PLANNING & INVESTING

Companies Test a New Type of ESG Bond With Fewer Restrictions: Finance chiefs are selling a new type of bond designed to attract socially minded investors that costs less and offers more leeway for companies than other types of sustainable debt.

MARKET TALK

From Dow Jones Newswires

The market may be shaken out of its complacency over the luxury sector by weak third-quarter sales and continued uncertainty, Deutsche Bank says. Luxury companies are set to announce quarterly revenue later this month, and Deutsche thinks the results could be a wake-up call for a market it sees as complacent regarding the risks facing the sector. “This could catalyse a sectorwide de-rating,” Deutsche predicts. The German bank forecasts an overall 16% decline in sales, with smaller independent companies posting the most severe drops in sales. Hermes, EssilorLuxottica and Brunello Cucinelli should, on the other hand, lead the way with flat sales or even slight growth, while sector giants LVMH and Kering are likely to be somewhere in the middle, Deutsche says. ([email protected])

The nascent alternative-protein industry may be facing some overly-high valuations, Jefferies says. While the bank is optimistic on the huge growth potential of the market, it believes the strong valuation run-up in recent years, especially in early-stage firms, could lead to a food-tech bubble similar to the dot-com bubble at the turn of the century. “There are numerous attractive investment areas in alternative protein, but investors should be cautious and selective given the frothy valuations,” it says. In particular, consumer-facing producers of plant-based protein may be an area to avoid, given the sub-sector’s over-reliance on branding and a lack of genuine technological uniqueness and differentiation, Jefferies says. ([email protected])

BUSINESS & PRACTICE

New Hires to the Holodeck: Fidelity Investments Tries Collaboration Via Virtual Reality: As in videogames, VR creates an immersive experience. Corporations are starting to use that to build the work ties lost during the pandemic.

IMPACT INVESTING

401(k)s Could Become Even Less Welcoming to ESG Funds: A proposed Labor Department regulation would make it harder for these funds to be offered in retirement accounts.

TALKING POINTS 

Cover Your Eyes! This College Football Season Is Ugly: Things are different in the shortened 2020 pandemic season, in which practices have been scarce and even the best teams sometimes don’t seem ready to play.

TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE

Grounded by Covid, Road Warriors Ponder Life Without Travel: While elite frequent fliers miss airport club lounges and luxury sheets, many discover work-life balance and connecting with family.

ABOUT US

The Wealth Adviser Briefing covers topics of interest to wealth managers, financial planners and other advisers. The content is curated by the Dow Jones Newswires team using articles from the Newswires, Barron’s, MarketWatch and The Wall Street Journal. The briefing is delivered to subscribers by email each workday morning at 6:30 a.m. ET. You can sign up here for email delivery.

We welcome feedback. Please email [email protected] or contact Dwight Oestricher at [email protected]

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