Bright Ideas from the SOA Investment Meeting

Last week, the Society of Actuaries held its investment conference in New York. We weren't far from the brass statue of the Wall Street bull, but the sell-side's unquenchable optimism about the future was missing. Practical new ideas flourished nonetheless.

Research Roundup

Almost every controversial subject in the US today--from Fed policy to machine learning to immigration--contains an element or theme related to retirement policy. The articles reviewed in this month's Research Roundup are proof of that.

‘iTDFs’ Smooth the Bumps of Retirement Income

A former chief actuary of Denmark seeks a US target date fund company that might use his technology, the 'iTDF,' to create a seamless transition from pre-retirement savings to safe income during the first 20 years of retirement.

A Revolt Against PE-Led Annuity Issuers

Matt Zagula is an annuity wholesaler and fixed indexed annuity (FIA) designer. He and forensic accountant Tom Gober created the TSR ratio, a scale for rating FIA issuers. Mutual and fraternal insurers score best; private equity-led life insurers score worst.

Boundless Life Expectancy?

A senior economist at the World Bank believes that medical technology will keep finding ways to keep us going--and going strong--for much longer than nature intended.

NCAA Financial Ads, in Black and White

During the first weekend of March Madness, I saw a commercial for Northwestern Mutual Life that emphasized the importance of combining insurance and investments--and that seemed to have chosen bi-racial couples to reinforce that message.

Mutual fund and ETF flows sharply lower in 2015: Morningstar

The U.S. fund industry had new asset flows of $263 billion, or less than half of the $580 billion in 2014. Asia showed the strongest organic growth rate, at 18.6%, according to Morningstar's fourth annual Global Asset Flows Report.

Honorable Mention

Brief or late-breaking items from Prudential, the CFP Board, Fidelity and TIAA.