App-ward Mobility

Connecting with investors via full-size computer screens is so last-decade. People now live on their smartphones, and the financial industry has little choice but to follow.

Research Roundup

We summarize four recent papers: 'Portfolios for Long-Term Investors,' 'What is the Value of Annuities?,' 'Public Economics and Inequality: Uncovering Our Social Nature,' and 'Financial and Total Wealth Inequality with Low Interest Rates.'

An Annuity’s ‘Moneyness’? There’s an App for That

How will variable annuity contract owners use their income benefits? That question is vital to annuity issuers and to fiduciary advisers with clients who own VAs. This Texas Dep't of Insurance actuary knows a product that can help them find out.

A Chip Off the Old Rock?

Bloomberg reported this week that Prudential is considering selling its retirement plan recordkeeping business. Prudential didn't confirm the report, but several industry insiders did. Low interest rates, high costs of IT makeovers, and sticky stable value fund guarantees are driving the move, RIJ was told.

Rollups are Back in Style

Guardian Life and Protective Life have both filed prospectuses for variable annuities with 10-year/100% deferral bonuses.

The Crisis Behind the Crisis

A new report from Oliver Wyman examines the dysfunctional state of the global financial services industry. It blames asset-liability mismatching for a lot of the trouble, and suggests a return to simpler 'Volkswagen' banking.

Russell’s “parachute” decumulation strategy

The strategy recognizes that most people don’t want to relinquish a big chunk of their liquidity at age 65 and that the SPIA “mortality credit” isn't attractive until the client reaches age 75 or so.

‘Pullback from pure DC’ predicted in UK

Current DC arrangements in the UK are so inadequate, one official said, that employers will eventually find their workforce dominated by workers in their 70s or 80s who can't retire, and whom employers can't force to retire.

St. Louis Fed president questions U.S. monetary policy

"Monetary policy is a blunt instrument which affects the decision-making of everyone in the economy,” said James Ballard, pointing out that low interest rates hurt savers. Better to address unemployment directly than through monetary policy, he added.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items regarding Mary Fay, Curian Capital, RIIA, New York Life, Milliman, and Albridge Solutions.