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 Five Most Important Retirement Income Decisions

'Many of the decisions presented here are beyond the skills of most pre-retirees and retirees,' writes the author, a research scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity. 'They’re going to need help.'

A Closer Look at CLOs (and Other U.S. Credit)

Bond mavens, check this out. A new SEC report describes how most of the $54-trillion dollar U.S. credit market survived last spring's financial crisis. It covers securitized 'leveraged loans,' which provide high-octane fuel for fixed indexed annuity issuers.

She’s Got Advice for Life Insurers

'Insurers can't remain wedded to product sales, which are becoming commoditized in a future that trends toward financial advice,' says industry veteran Michelle Richter, who just launched Fiduciary Insurance Services, LLC.
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.