Micro-Pensions in Central America

You've heard of micro-credit: those mini-loans to female entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Now a micro-pension movement is underway, and one of the first pilot projects starts next month in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Part I of a two-part article.

The Sacrificial Payroll Tax

Idle talk about suspending the payroll tax is making 'blue' Senators blue. We get answers from Social Security expert Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institute.

An Income-Generating ‘Collar’

Using a 'protective net-credit collar,' the Nationwide Risk-Managed Income ETF has distributed monthly income at an annual rate of 7.88% in 2020, while appreciating 10%. Is there a catch?

Life Insurers’ Bermuda Triangle, Part II

The humble fixed indexed annuity is at the center of the restructuring hurricane that has swept through the life insurance industry in recent years. We bring you the second article in a series on the topic.
News

MetLife Tops VA Sales in 2Q

Variable annuity sales improved for the fifth consecutive quarter in the second quarter of 2011, while fixed annuity sales were one percent less than in the year-ago quarter, according to a report from LIMRA.

It pays not to panic, Fidelity survey shows

Plan participants who dropped to zero equities but then returned to some equities after the 2008 crisis saw an average account balance increase of 25% by June 30, 2011, compared to 50% for those who stuck with their equities.

The Bucket

Brief and late-breaking items from T. Rowe Price, Securian, Zurich, The Hartford, New York Life and MetLife.

The Great Contraction

'The global economy is badly overleveraged, and there is no quick escape without a scheme to transfer wealth from creditors to debtors, either through defaults, financial repression, or inflation,' writes Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff.

Does Decumulation Spell Doom?

Economists at the San Francisco Fed suggest that P/E ratios are bound to suffer as the Boomer cohort gets older and liquidates its assets.