Examining the Indices in Index-Linked Annuities

A mountain biker needs 18 or 21 gears to smooth a path over rocks and through arroyos. Index-linked annuities now collectively offer some 140 index choices. Hybrid indices can theoretically smooth an investor’s path through rocky markets--but they're complicated.

The Point of Indexing (in Annuities)

Every June, RIJ focuses on indexed annuities. Last year, we studied options in indexed annuities. This year we consider the indexes themselves, especially 'hybrid' and 'volatility-controlled' indexes. Bryan Anderson, Don Dady and David Lau weighed in.

The Irony of Inflation Forecasting (Research Roundup)

In this month's roundup, we learn that CEOs pay little attention to inflation. We also find out why retirees keep saving, why "centaurs" pick stocks so well, which financial biases keep people poor, and how working longer affects male mortality.
Featured

Nominal SPIAs Beat Nominal DIAs—But Perhaps Not for Long

“DIAs may represent a more palatable hedge against longevity risk for retirees than traditional annuities, because they are cheaper and therefore provide more liquidity to retirees,” writes Morningstar's David Blanchett in a Journal of Financial Planning article.

‘Changing of the Guard’ Continues in VA Sales

MetLife is selling one-third of what it was two years ago. Prudential is selling half of what it did in the first two quarters of 2012. The biggest gainers since then include Transamerica, SunAmerica, and Lincoln. (This piece was written by Morningstar's annuity product manager.)
News

This is your brain on money

Public television will turn its inquisitive light on the topic of behavioral finance next October 16.

Deloitte publishes annual DC benchmarking survey

There continues to be limited interest in in-plan annuities, with 6% of plans offering this option in 2013, up from 4% in 2012. Ten percent of plan sponsors indicated they are looking into adding an accumulation annuity to their current plan.