Research Roundup

We summarize four recent papers: 'Portfolios for Long-Term Investors,' 'What is the Value of Annuities?,' 'Public Economics and Inequality: Uncovering Our Social Nature,' and 'Financial and Total Wealth Inequality with Low Interest Rates.'

An Annuity’s ‘Moneyness’? There’s an App for That

How will variable annuity contract owners use their income benefits? That question is vital to annuity issuers and to fiduciary advisers with clients who own VAs. This Texas Dep't of Insurance actuary knows a product that can help them find out.

A Chip Off the Old Rock?

Bloomberg reported this week that Prudential is considering selling its retirement plan recordkeeping business. Prudential didn't confirm the report, but several industry insiders did. Low interest rates, high costs of IT makeovers, and sticky stable value fund guarantees are driving the move, RIJ was told.
Featured

What Fools These Mortals Be

E*Trade, TD Ameritrade and Merrill Edge all dangle a $600 signing bonus to people who open new brokerage accounts with cash--lots and lots of cash, it turns out.

RetiremEntrepreneur: Robert Klein

West Coast CFP, CPA and RICP Robert Klein has jumped on the retirement bandwagon, recasting his business as the Retirement Income Center, becoming a MarketWatch RetireMentor and putting fixed indexed annuities at the center of his practice.
News

Time, money, age and advice: They’re all connected

At any given life stage, a new research paper says, people tend to manage their investments in one of three ways: by doing nothing (“inertia”), by doing it themselves (“self-management”) or by consulting a financial advisor (“delegation”).

Czechmate: New government will end auto-enrolled DC plan

The Czech experiment with a voluntary, auto-enrolled national defined contribution plan (a "second pillar" plan to supplement the primary pay-as-you-go plan) will end. Balances will be rolled into the optional "third pillar" supplemental pension. Confusing? Czech!

Fitch sees stability for life insurers in 2014

Overall, Fitch’s near-term outlook for the life insurance industry was “stable,” assuming no major interest rate spikes, no international crises and a continuation of the weak recovery, modest GDP growth and high unemployment.