The Ghost of VA Contracts Past

Insurers and asset managers love managed-vol funds and VA portfolios, whose sales are climbing. But in a low-vol bull market, advisors wonder about their value.

Drama in Des Moines

Rejecting a takeover bid by Athene and MassMutual, fixed index annuity issuer American Equity will partner with Brookfield Asset Management. The deal releases up to $350m in capital for American Equity, and makes it a 'Bermuda Triangle' player. Photo: AEL headquarters in Des Moines.

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.
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Deconstructing Warren

In new research, three quants from AQR Capital Management have tried to explain exactly why Warren Buffett has been so successful. They neglect to mention that he made the mother of all market-timing moves in October 1974.
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“Empathy for Geeks”

Annuity product manager and actuary Lance Poole of Protective Life gives a "TED talk" in which he explains how even actuaries can learn empathy with customers and demonstrates that empathetic companies have higher profits and share prices.

Everybody wants to be a wealth manager

"Advisers are more likely to set an asset minimum (43%) than to have a definition of their ideal client," according to results of a survey by the Financial Planning Association and Advisor Impact.