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American Fidelity Mortgage Services, Inc.

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Morning Scan Wells settles DOJ mortgage charges; Fidelity to offer no-fee index funds

Race to the bottom: Fidelity Investments said it will begin offering two stock index funds with no fees , an industry first. It also announced sharp cuts of fees for its other index funds and said it will do away with investment minimums. The moves put “new pressure on low-cost rivals such as Vanguard Group and Charles Schwab,” the Wall Street Journal comments, and are “part of a broader reduction in the price of investing as firms duel for increasingly cost-sensitive clients.”

“This is a key moment for managers to accept that index-based investing is here to stay,” said Todd Rosenbluth of investment research firm CFRA.

“This is absolutely a moment, and one that investors should be celebrating ,” said Ben Johnson, an analyst at Morningstar. “But pure-play asset managers that don’t have other revenue streams . . . are probably feeling the pressure as greatly as they ever have on a day like today.” Indeed, the stocks of some of Fidelity’s competitors dropped after the announcement.

Fintech eyes opportunity in $15B title insurance business

Tech-focused startups are knocking on the door of a $15 billion industry that's dominated by just four companies: Title insurance.

A California regulator announced Tuesday that, for the first time, it gave approval to a tech-focused startup title insurer to operate in the biggest U.S. state by population. States Title Inc. joins newcomers including OneTitle National Guaranty Co. and Spruce Holdings Inc. that have gained footholds in other U.S. regions to enter the complex and closely regulated world of title insurance.

"The industry is ripe for more technology usage," said Jason Deleeuw, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co. "That's a common theme across real estate and mortgage."

Consumers generally use title insurance just a few times in their lives when they're financing the purchase of a home. Title companies and agents scour public records to help buyers and lenders avoid risks like liens or ownership disputes. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said more competition and new technology can help reduce costs for consumers.

How should I allocate my 401K funds?

I am 25 years old so I'd say I am able to be fairly high risk, but I am unsure what would be the best way to allocate my funds.

The sad thing about the 401k is that you don't have much of a choice as to the portfolios. They often give you the choice of a conservative, a moderate and an aggressive and or ultra aggressive portfolio.

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