BOSTON In her first two years in the US Senate, Elizabeth Warren has drawn praise and ire among her Capitol Hill colleagues as well as the ardent support of liberal loyalists.

The Massachusetts Democrat has locked horns with Republicans and President Barack Obama, won a Senate leadership post and made her first official overseas trip all while brushing aside calls to run for president in 2016.

The spotlight on Warren is particularly welcome in Massachusetts, which had grown accustomed to wielding outsized political clout in the US Senate with Edward Kennedy, who died in 2009, and John Kerry, who stepped down last year to become secretary of state.

Former Massachusetts Democratic Party chairman Philip Johnston said what distinguishes Warren is her absolute fearlessness in confronting those she believes are unfairly using their economic leverage.

CEOs of banks usually intimidate members of the Senate because they speak a different language, he said. Elizabeth speaks that language ... and she calls them out.

While Warrens name wasnt on the ballot this year, she was a near-constant presence in the midterm elections, crisscrossing the country to stump for Democratic Senate incumbents and hopefuls. Helping sustain that effort was Warrens fundraising prowess.

Warren, who raised more than $41 million during the 2012 campaign in which she unseated Republican Scott Brown, has collected $2.6 million in campaign contributions since January 2013, even though she doesnt face re-election for four more years. Warren raised nearly $2 million for her PAC for a Level Playing Field, contributing to dozens of Democratic candidates.

The campaign activity is one reason Warrens political stock has skyrocketed among Democrats. This month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid named her to serve as strategic policy adviser to the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.

Among Republicans, the former Harvard Law professor is a popular foil.

One of Warrens most public clashes came in June when Republican senators blocked legislation sponsored by Warren aimed at letting people refinance their student loans at lower rates. Republicans complained it was a political ploy that wouldnt have lowered education costs or reduced borrowing.

The friction goes back to at least 2011, when Republicans signaled their opposition to her being appointed the first director of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which she helped create. Later that year she announced her decision to run for the Senate.

While much of her focus has been on Republicans and Wall Street, Warren isnt shy about criticizing Obama.

After the Democrats midterm drubbing, Warren cautioned both Obama and fellow lawmakers from reacting in a way that could hurt struggling families.

The solution to this isnt a basket of quickly passed laws designed to prove Congress can do something anything, Warren wrote in the Washington Post. The solution isnt for the president to cut deals any deals just to show he can do business.

More recently, Warren has called on Obama to fill vacancies at the Federal Reserve with tough overseers instead of Wall Street insiders, warning that evidence is mounting that the Fed is too cozy with the big banks to provide the kind of tough oversight thats needed.

She also faulted Obama for nominating Antonio Weiss, the head of investment banking for a financial advisory and asset management firm, for a position at the Treasury Department. Warren said Weiss isnt qualified to oversee consumer protection and domestic regulatory functions at the Treasury.

Her opposition to Weiss has drawn criticism.

Ms. Warrens other main objection is simply that Mr. Weiss has worked on Wall Street, which she seems to believe disqualifies him based on symbolism alone, wrote Andrew Ross Sorkin, a New York Times columnist and author of Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System and Themselves.

One weak spot in Warrens resume is foreign policy experience. She set about addressing with her first overseas trip as senator to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

That trip, along with virtually any other public move Warren makes, fuels speculation that she might consider a presidential run despite her public denials.

The group Ready for Warren has launched a three-month campaign to collect 100,000 letters, postcards and signatures urging Warren to reconsider.

Its our role to show her that theres a grassroots moment out there urging her to step in, said Kate Albright-Hanna, the groups deputy campaign manager.

The availability of quantitative risk technology became possible through advancements in computing power, per Moores Law (which originated with Intel Co-founder Gordon Moore who observed that the number of transistors per square inch doubled every 18 months.) The ongoing revolution in technology will force advisors/reps to redefine the value that they offer by including quantitative risk management in their workflow. Not only must the management tool be scientifically credible, it must also be linked to retirement goals.

There are many building blocks of financial and retirement planning, and all must be factored into risk management, said Satchkov. Planning is where the financial advisor can put a stake in the ground, as the robo platforms dont provide this, added Satchkov.


RiXtrema, founded in 2010, is a portfolio crash-testing company that helps advisors discuss risk with clients. Long used by fund managers, pensions plans and funds of funds, RiXtrema has introduced its risk management tools to the financial advisory and broker/dealer community to help ensure that clients get the analysis and advice they need. For more information, visit

Media Contact: Leslie swid, Impact Communications, 913-649-5009, [emailprotected]

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When it comes to money and investing, there are several lessons many people wish they would have learned when they were younger. While everyone's situation is unique, avoiding these six common mistakes can help you live life without financial regret:

1. Don't wait to start saving -- Homeownership, marriage, kids and retirement may seem a long way off when you're in your teens and 20s, but the financial foundation you lay when you're young is critical. If you work for a company that has a retirement savings plan, take advantage of it as soon as you can. You'll be glad you did. Saving wisely from an early age enables you to turn time into money through the power of compound interest and long-term investing in the market.

2. Don't just wing it; set a savings goal -- It's hard to know how much to save when you don't know how much you'll need down the road. Unfortunately, too many wait until retirement to figure it out and find themselves with too little savings, too late. A professional financial advisor can help you identify your long-term financial needs and lifestyle goals, and project how much money you'll need at retirement to achieve them. Inflation and average market returns over time are part of the calculation. Knowing your retirement number also may help you make smarter financial decisions in your early years because you're working toward a definitive goal.

3. Don't forget to prioritize an emergency fund -- Doing so can help alleviate the stress and aggravation that comes from unexpected expenses, such as a car or appliance repair. It can also serve as a resource for larger purchases if the desire or need arises.

4. Don't buy a house you really can't afford -- There are many reasons why buying a home may be the right decision for you. If you've saved enough money for a down payment, have an emergency fund in place and plan to be in the house for five or more years, buying may be the way to go. Just make sure you're not overextending yourself and going above your price range. By starting small -- perhaps with a townhouse, condo or small home -- and building up equity, you may be able to trade up over time if you so choose. It's important to know that owning a property isn't the right choice for everyone. For help deciding if ownership is a good fit for your current situation, use an online rent vs. buy calculator. Before purchasing, have a professional and reputable home inspector examine the property to identify potential risks or problems that may be deal breakers. Also, make sure you are in a location that offers unique attributes or is in demand to help increase the likelihood you can sell your property when the time is right for you.

5. Don't neglect building a good credit rating -- Purchasing items on a credit card can help you build up your credit score and make it easier for you to qualify for loans and other financial opportunities. Keep in mind that you should only buy items you can afford, and you should pay your credit card off at the end of the month to avoid accruing interest charges or creating debt you can't afford to pay back.

6. Don't overlook your bank statements -- Whether you check your balance online or when a statement arrives in the mail, the important thing is to look it over and make sure there aren't discrepancies between what you've charged and what you're being billed. In addition to helping you catch and quickly dispute any inaccurate charges, it will help you keep tabs on where you money is going each month.

For help setting and navigating a healthy and productive financial course, consult a professional financial advisor. An advisor can help you make smart money decisions that put your wealth to work for you and increase your potential to be financially secure today -- and tomorrow.

An Ameriprise Financial Franchise. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. offers financial advisory services, investments, insurance and annuity products. RiverSource® and Columbia Management® products are offered by affiliates of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC.

An anonymous adviser? No downside? A politically connected financial advisory firm? Pray tell what could possibly go wrong with the CPS decision to get involved with tying bonds with interest-rate swap contracts?

CPS turned to a financial advisory company that was 5 months old to provide professional advice on bonds totaling $1 billion. What could possibly go wrong with that advice? An anonymous adviser should not only have been identified but had his or her credentials fully vetted and been interviewed by a panel of fifth graders. Fifth graders know that if a deal is too good to be true, it probably isnt.