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.
'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.'
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.
'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.
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.
What, if any, variable product guarantees would be covered by a guaranty association, the regulators want to know.
If they were more financially sophisticated, Americans could be paying much less in mortgage interest and mutual fund fees, says financial literacy scholar Anna Lusardi.
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.
Brief and late-breaking items from T. Rowe Price, Securian, Zurich, The Hartford, New York Life and MetLife.
'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.
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.