The Kreppa that Almost Melted Iceland

Iceland's economy and pension system has come back from the "kreppa" or banking crisis that struck five years ago. This country of the aurora borealis and matronymic last-names is full of surprises (Photo by Bjorn Ludviksson).

The Sacrificial Payroll Tax

Idle talk about suspending the payroll tax is making 'blue' Senators blue. We get answers from Social Security expert Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institute.

An Income-Generating ‘Collar’

Using a 'protective net-credit collar,' the Nationwide Risk-Managed Income ETF has distributed monthly income at an annual rate of 7.88% in 2020, while appreciating 10%. Is there a catch?

Life Insurers’ Bermuda Triangle, Part II

The humble fixed indexed annuity is at the center of the restructuring hurricane that has swept through the life insurance industry in recent years. We bring you the second article in a series on the topic.
Featured

Annuity Sales Decline in 1Q 2013: LIMRA

"In many ways, the current market is more challenging to many annuity manufacturers than the recent financial crisis,” said Joe Montminy, assistant vice president and director of LIMRA annuity research.

“An inoculation, not a depredation”

Notes from all over: What a government official said privately about the $3 million cap on tax-favored accumulations; Mark Cortazzo's new business of mining old VA contracts; another New York Times article that obfuscates annuities.
News

Can’t win for losing

Venturing into the sensitive area of ethnicity, Prudential documents a need for dramatic improvement in the financial circumstances of the average African American.

Are ‘multi-asset income funds’ for real?

“As talk of a gravy train gains currency, however, now is a good time to consider what lies beneath the multi-asset income label," said Barbara Wall, a director at Cerulli Associates, in a release.

Lincoln Financial expands VA fund options

The new investment options, which seek to reduce exposure to market risks, include seven new options for Lincoln ChoicePlus Assurance products and four new options for American Legacy products.

Dicey

"We have been trained to consider all the possible future outcomes and then weight them in accordance with their probability. In effect we freeze time and take multiple copies of the world and then run the six versions forward as ‘parallel universes’," writes this TowersWatson analyst. But the real world, he says, doesn't work that way.

Swan Dive

In trying to predict the future, we make two mistakes, experts said at conferences this spring. In relying on averages of potential outcomes, we assume parallel universes. And we blame “black swans” for our own failures of imagination.