Dream-House Shopping in Costa Rica

The house was for sale. Its mystical vibe seduced them into paying $150,000 in cash. Monkeys, sloths, macaws, butterflies and gekkos would be their neighbors as the couple aged. 'It was definitely impulsive,' the musician told RIJ.

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.

The Illusions Driving Up US Asset Prices

'The Dow is up only 19% in real (inflation-adjusted) terms since 2000. A 19% increase in 17 years is underwhelming, and the national home price index that Karl Case and I created is still 16% below its 2006 peak in real terms,' writes Nobel winner Robert Shiller in this guest column.

Rx for Retirement: A Low Dose of Equities

'For retirement investors attempting to minimize downside risk while sustaining future withdrawals, appropriate equity allocations range between five and 25%,' write Keith C. Brown (inset) and W. V. Harlow in a award-winning research paper.