Send in the Robots (Don’t Bother, They’re Here)

At the "T3" financial software trade show last week, a pair of robots warmed up the crowd with jokes about the limitations of high-tech planning tools. RIJ visited with reps from three tech firms: RetireUp, AskTRAK and Riskalyze.

Tell Us What You Really Think

At the LIMRA-Society of Actuaries Retirement Industry Conference in Baltimore last week, Scott Stolz from Raymond James, Greg Jaeck from Edward Jones and Jarrod Fisher from Simplicity Financial Distributors delivered frank opinions about annuities and annuity issuers.

Why Indexed Annuity Sales Are So Strong

Many factors are driving the increase in indexed annuity sales: More manufacturers, better products, more distributors, competitive commissions, aging boomers, and relaxed regulation. But does the bubble contain the seeds of its own deflation?

Lessons from a Living (DC) Experiment

Israel has found that even a mandatory defined contribution system can’t resolve all of the behavioral, economic, or administrative issues that prevent low-income and minority workers from saving for retirement. (Photo: Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem.)
Featured

BlackRock’s Non-Insured Path to Predictable Income

The five new CoRI Funds may appeal to near-retirees who currently have a lot of money in bond funds and are afraid that those funds will lose value as interest rates rise. The funds could, in theory, could protect them from sequence-of-returns risk.

The Dollar and the Damage Done

The Fed should adjust its rhetoric and, if necessary, its policies to reflect the fact that its actions disproportionately affect other countries, with repercussions on the US economy, writes the noted UC-Berkeley political economist.
News

U.S. economy faces four headwinds, economist warns

Economist Robert J. Gordon of Northwestern disagrees with the “techno-optimists” who believe that the U.S. is on the cusp of a surge in technological change. He thinks we’re already well into an innovation slowdown.

2014 will be a good year for insurers: Conning

"Regulatory convergence and complexity are commanding insurer attention and resources. Fragmented economic growth is creating new pockets of growth, while challenging established markets," says Conning's 2014 U.S. and Global Insurance Industry Outlook.

What Boomers want, and when they want it: Hearts & Wallets

“Advice source consolidation begins three to four years ahead of retirement, heats up during the retirement event and continues the first three to four years of retirement,” said the Boston-area firm's latest study. (Photo: H&W's Laura Varas).

MetLife exits U.K. bulk annuity market

The MetLife-Rothesay deal, still subject to regulatory approval, will move around £3bn (€3.7bn and $5.1 billion) in assets between the insurers.