The “Stacking” Strategy

Are bond yields awful? Are investors terrified of equities? Then it’s perfect weather for indexed annuities, the unpredictable but often effective knuckleballs of the annuity world. Check out these new "stacked" offerings from Security Benefit Life and Aviva.

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.
Featured

One-Time Crusader Breaks Bad

Matthew Hutcheson, who portrayed himself as a champion of fuduciary responsibility, was indicted by a federal grand jury last week in Boise, Idaho, on charges of stealing millions of dollars from a multi-employer retirement plan of which he was the trustee.
News

How much does asset allocation matter to retirees?

“Financial advisers will be of greater help to their clients if they focus on a broad array of tools – including working longer, controlling spending, and taking out a reverse mortgage," says a new paper from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Annuity net flow was flat in March: DTCC

Inflows and net flows have increased in each of the first three months of 2012, breaking a declining trend in 2011, but Inflows and net flows were down in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter of 2011.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from Prudential Financial, ARIA Retirement Solutions, Lincoln Financial, Ibbotson Associates, MassMutual Retirement Services, and Nationwide Financial.

The Financial World Is Round

I don’t necessarily agree with all the policy recommendations of Modern Monetary Theory proponents. But, for me, MMT helps explain much of what was previously inexplicable about our financial system.