Weighing the Value of a Variable Annuity

A VA lifetime withdrawal benefit—especially one with a 'ratchet'—can provide the upside potential and downside protection that many Boomers want in retirement, say researchers Petra Steinorth and Olivia Mitchell. But a life annuity offers a higher dose of "AEW."

How The Elephant in the Room Evolved

In a new research paper, "The Evolution from Life Insurance to Financial Engineering," economists Ralph Koijen of Chicago Booth School and Motohiro Yogo of Princeton continue to describe what is arguably the 'elephant in the room' for life/annuity companies.

An Insider’s Take on the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ Strategy

Willis Re, a reinsurance broker, has had an uptick in calls from life insurers hoping to execute what RIJ calls 'The Bermuda Triangle' strategy, thus removing a millstone and reaping a capital windfall. Willis Re executive Mike Kaster explains.

One-Stop Shops for Notes and Annuities

Luma Financial Technologies is now among the structured notes platforms that have chosen to add index-linked annuities to the products they support. It joins SIMON Markets and Halo in that space. In this last segment of our series on indexed products, we examine these new alliances.
Featured

Who’s Afraid of the Fiscal Cliff?

Not Bill Gale of the Brookings Institution. He recommends that we let the Bush tax cuts expire and the automatic spending cuts occur—and then to build a more sensible fiscal compromise on top of their ruins.
News

GDP growth rate of 2.8% predicted for 4Q 2012: Prudential

The 1.5% GDP growth in Q2 was due to weaker consumer and government spending and a negative trade balance. Bright spots were solid business investment spending and housing as well as a rise in inventories, according to Prudential strategist John Praveen.

The Bucket

Brief and late-breaking items from Natixis Global Asset Management, Symetra, Fidelity, Allianz Life and Genworth.

“Quote” of the Week

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise"--F. Scott Fitzgerald, from "The Crack-Up."

On Moshe Milevsky’s “The 7 Most Important Equations”

Each chapter in Prof. Milevsky's latest book focuses on a different important mathematical equation, on the genius who created it (or who won credit for creating it), and the application of that equation to retirement income problems.