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.

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.

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.