On Second Thought, Make That a Single-Dip

Vanguard analysts put the chance of a double-dip recession at about 20%. The bond yield curve suggests only a 6% risk, but the yield curve isn't as reliably predictive as it used to be, they say.

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

Are Stocks Really Cheap?

Cash levels as a percent of assets reached a cyclical high of 12% in 1991. Today, that ratio is less than 4%. With mutual funds already nearly fully invested, where will the money come from to take stocks higher?

How Social Security Can Make Up for Lost Pensions

Under my plan, the SSA would tell people their benefit at a specific retirement age (either an earliest age or a "normal" age). Then it would show a simple set of penalties or bonuses for withdrawing money or depositing it with Social Security.
News

D.C. Appeals Court Rules Against 151A

“Most likely this means that the SEC will drop efforts to regulate this product,” said Eric Marhoun, general counsel of the Old Mutual Insurance Company.

LPL to buy National Retirement Partners

Over the past decade, LPL has become the largest independent contractor broker-dealer in the industry. In 2000, the firm had 3,569 advisers. It had 12,026 as of March 31.

PIMCO Unveils Sovereign Bond Benchmarks

Instead of giving the highest weights to countries with the most debt, PIMCO's new indices will give the highest weights to countries with the highest income based on GDP.

Correction

Last week, an article in RIJ misdescribed Axa Equitable's Retirement Cornerstone variable annuity.