Two Advisers, Two Strong Opinions of FIAs

If annuities in general incite controversy, FIAs are easily the most polarizing annuities. Just listen to what Howard Kaplan, an LPL adviser in the New York area, and Harry Keller, a Philadelphia-area adviser affiliated with ING Financial Partners, have to say.

Drama in Des Moines

Rejecting a takeover bid by Athene and MassMutual, fixed index annuity issuer American Equity will partner with Brookfield Asset Management. The deal releases up to $350m in capital for American Equity, and makes it a 'Bermuda Triangle' player. Photo: AEL headquarters in Des Moines.

The Five Most Important Retirement Income Decisions

'Many of the decisions presented here are beyond the skills of most pre-retirees and retirees,' writes the author, a research scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity. 'They’re going to need help.'

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.
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In Hartford, a Public IRA Proposal

RIJ traveled to Hartford on Tuesday for a hearing on a bill that would require most Connecticut employers to offer a retirement plan and would create a default public retirement plan option. Brian Graff of ASPPA and Chad Parks of theonline401k were there too.

Beware of Oligopolies in Banking

"I suspect that 2014 will prove to be a critical juncture for determining the future of the banking industry and the role of regulators within that industry," said the vice chairman of the FDIC in this speech, delivered on February 24 to a business group in Arlington, Va.
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Schlichter sues a hospital chain for “excessive” plan fees

The latest ERISA suit from St. Louis plaintiffs attorney Jerry Schlichter (pictured) claims that Novant Health Inc. violated its fiduciary duty by paying excessive fees to Great-West Life & Annuity and to a Winston-Salem, NC, brokerage firm.

The Bucket

Brief or late-breaking items from Vanguard, Prudential Financial, Nationwide Financial, LPL, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, the American Bar Association and AARP.