Float Through Retirement on a CDA

Contingent deferred annuities (CDAs) are income guarantees for managed accounts. Their biggest regulatory hurdle may have been cleared last February, when an NAIC committee agreed that CDAs are annuities and not financial guaranty insurance.

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.

She’s Got Advice for Life Insurers

'Insurers can't remain wedded to product sales, which are becoming commoditized in a future that trends toward financial advice,' says industry veteran Michelle Richter, who just launched Fiduciary Insurance Services, LLC.

Searching for Yield? Here’s Where to Look

Bond gurus Anne Mathias of Vanguard and Rick Rieder of BlackRock spoke at the Morningstar Investment Conference last week. Emerging markets, real estate debt, and asset-backed securities are potential sources of yield, as are dividend-paying stocks, they said.
Featured

Contingent Deferred Annuities: Still a Rare Bird

Only two life insurers—Transamerica Advisors Life and Great-West Life & Annuity—can be said to be actively marketing contingent deferred annuities, aka stand-alone living benefits. Phoenix is on the cusp.
News

Discount rates fall, pension liabilities rise

In June, the discount rate used to calculate pension liabilities fell to 4.32% from 4.56%, raising the PBO to $1.698 trillion at the end of the month. The overall asset value for these 100 pensions increased from $1.263 trillion to $1.283 trillion.

“Quote” of the Week

"Money, no longer tied to gold or any other firm anchor, can be created instantly, in infinite quantities, on the technocrats' say-so. And so long as factories have spare capacity and unemployment keeps wages in check, there is unlikely to be any significant penalty from inflation"--Sebastian Mallaby, "Europe's Optional Catastrophe," Foreign Affairs, July/August 2012.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from Jackson National, Guardian Life and BNY Mellon.

It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Frugality

Everyone seems to agree that business has been crazy-slow this summer, thanks to election year paralysis. A bonus feature: My theory on why our monetary system functions like a bathroom sink.