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."

Envestnet’s Big Annuities Play

Envestnet, with the help of six major annuity issuers, has built a platform where advisors from broker-dealers, banks and RIAs can blend insurance products and investments in the same financial plan. It's a service life insurers can't live without. But will RIAs embrace annuities?

FIAs for Retirement Income (Why Not?)

In this last article in our series on fixed indexed annuities, we consider the potential role of FIAs in providing retirees with guaranteed lifetime income. We find FIAs to be valuable, but underused for that purpose.

The Derivatives that Power Index Annuities

FIA owners can pick from an array of choices as cryptic as those on a roulette table. But if they don't understand options, how can they evaluate these safe but esoteric insurance products?
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.